Brussels (Agencies): Belgium is without government for 249 days but the country’s citizens, ranging from 6 million Dutch speaking Flemings to 4.5 million French speakers, are not worried. Instead they are rejoicing the occasion on Thursday, a figure that they are treating as a world record.

In Dutch-speaking Ghent, organisers hope 249 people will strip naked to mark the days of the crisis as part of a party likely to draw thousands.

"It is serious that we have no federal government,'' stated Kris Peeters, the minister president of Flanders in an interview. "But on the other hand, I appreciate very much the humour of certain actions.''

It is arguable whether 249 really is the record. Iraq took 249 days to get the outlines of a government treaty last year, but the nod of that government took a further 40 days. Still, the way things are going, Belgium will have little problem claiming the record whichever standard is used.

After general elections on June 13 last year, Belgium's major parties started talks to force through the biggest constitutional change in decades to keep both linguistic groups happy. But since their interests are often diametrically opposed, they ran into one deadlock after another.

King Albert had to appoint and accept the resignation of one go-between after another as the major parties refused to move ahead from their pre-election position. It is a process which persists to this day. The opportunities of success for the current negotiator, caretaker Finance Minister Didier Reynders, are seen as slim and the specter of new elections to break the deadlock are looming.