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Thread: Political crisis in Belgium - a new episode

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    Political crisis in Belgium - a new episode

    Maybe you remember last year's crisis (194 days without government)

    We're at it again, Yves Leterme has just resigned, with all the government. The king has not yet accepted.

    It's the 4th time he resigns in 18 months

    This time the cause is that he sold a bank at a low price to a French company to save it from bankrupcy. There is a huge trial, and there are rumors saying that the justice is not totally impartial.

    As a consequence, Jo Vandeurzen, minister of justice, has resigned. But as he is from the same party (CD&V) as Yves Leterme (Prime minister), the whole government could fall


    there aren't any news link in English, the one I've found are from Belgian newspapers only

    Yves Leterme est en route vers le Palais - lesoir.be

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    Re: Political crisis in Belgium - a new episode

    Oh, those nutty Belgiums are at it again

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    Re: Political crisis in Belgium - a new episode

    Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme offers resignation over bank crisis



    The credit crunch looks to have claimed its first government after the Belgian Prime Minister proposed that the Cabinet resign after damning accusations that they tried to persuade judges not to block a bank break-up.

    Yves Leterme admitted that one of his officials contacted an appeal court judge’s husband several times during a court case brought by shareholders trying to stop the sale of the collapsed Fortis bank’s Belgian assets to BNP Paribas of France. Jo Vandeurzen, Belgium's Justice Minister, offered to quit earlier in the afternoon.

    The proposed resignations would mark the downfall of Europe’s unluckiest prime minister, who took nine months to form a coalition government in March because of hostilities between rival MPs, and who tried to resign in July but was turned down by Albert II, the King of the Belgians. The strain of coalition talks possibly led to the stomach ulcer that hospitalised Mr Leterme, 48, in February, and led to widespread fears that Belgium might break into two along linguistic lines between the Flemish north and French-speaking south.

    The banking crisis has led to street demonstrations in Iceland calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Geir Haarde and led Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis to threaten to resign earlier this month as he argued for his economic recovery programme. But Mr Leterme would be the first premier to lose his job in the wake of the fierce downturn over the affair known as Fortisgate in Belgium.


    “We have rarely seen anything like this in any country. The pillars of democratic power are accusing each other, almost mutually,” Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelynx said on Thursday night, after an eight-hour crisis Cabinet meeting.

    “Those who have done wrong must clearly take their responsibilities,” she added.

    The Government is locked in a legal battle with minority shareholders of Fortis, a banking and insurance group, over the sale of its Belgian assets.

    Fortis was hastily dismantled in October as its shares nose-dived, with the Dutch state taking over its Dutch banking and insurance assets and the Belgian government taking over its Belgian banking business. In an attempt to secure the long-term viability of Fortis and the Belgian banking system, Mr Leterme orchestrated the sale of most of the group's Belgian assets to BNP Paribas.

    But in the case brought by shareholders, the appeal court ruled on December 12 that they should have been consulted on the break-up. It stopped the sale for 65 days, leading BNP Paribas to state that the deal could not go ahead at the moment.

    Ghislain Londers, the supreme court president, sent a letter to the Speaker of parliament on Thursday that appeared to condemn Mr Leterme. “Everything was done so that the ruling of the ... Court of Appeal would not be given on the Fortis break-up,” it said.

    Mr Leterme seemed to win the backing of his Cabinet after its marathon session which broke up at midnight on Thursday but finally threw in the towel after a damning report from the Supreme Court.
    Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme offers resignation over bank crisis - Times Online

    Quote Originally Posted by americanwoman View Post
    Oh, those nutty Belgiums are at it again
    we are trying to beat the Dutch record: 204 days without government

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    Re: Political crisis in Belgium - a new episode

    an interesting article:

    FT.com / World - Belgium edges towards political crisis

    they talk about including the greens and the flemish socialists in the governmental coalition (wich means that everyone would be in the government except the flemish nationalists!)

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