Belgian king appoints finmin as mediator to revive government

Belgium's King Albert has asked the finance minister to mediate in a standoff between Dutch- and French-speaking parties.

Belgian king appoints finmin as mediator to revive government

Belgium's King Albert has asked the finance minister to mediate in a standoff between Dutch- and French-speaking parties in an effort to breathe new life into Prime Minister Yves Leterme's government.

Leterme tendered his government's resignation on Thursday after the Flemish liberal party pulled out of his five-month-old coalition over a long-standing dispute about electoral boundaries around Brussels.

Keen to avoid a crisis that could damage Belgium's fragile economy, the king did not immediately accept and met party leaders on Friday and Saturday to seek a way out of the impasse.

A palace statement on Saturday said the king had asked Finance Minister Didier Reynders, who is also chairman of Belgium's francophone liberal democrats MR, to create the conditions to resume talks as soon as possible.

Reynders accepted the task, the palace said.

Open VLD said on Thursday it had lost faith in the coalition as it had failed to resolve the dispute by a Thursday deadline.

But chairman Alexander De Croo opened the door to a return to negotiations late on Thursday when he told Belgian television he would consider renewed talks.

Reuters

Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2010, 17:21
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