Belgium in limbo again after government collapses

Belgium was left scrambling for political leadership for the third time in a year on Saturday after the government collapsed following its botched attempt to bail out troubled financial group Fortis, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Yves Leterme tendered his government's resignation on Friday after a damning report by the Supreme Court found signs of political meddling to sway a court ruling on the future of the bank, a victim of the credit crunch.

Belgium's King Albert, who under the constitution must decide whether to accept the resignation, held late-night talks with Leterme in the palace about the resignation offer on Friday but deferred any immediate decision.

"We'll have to look at how we assure stability in our country -- political stability we don't have at the moment, I that we'll at least find a way of managing things in 2009," Finance Minister Didier Reynders said.

Leterme has been in power only for nine months as leader of a fragile, five-party coalition meant to ease a dispute between Belgium's linguistic groups that had reignited speculation the 178-year-old country could break up.

Opposition parties demanded fresh parliamentary elections, although analysts doubted the ruling parties in Leterme's coalition will want to test voters just as Belgium slips into recession, and with the Fortis debacle fresh in their minds.

Leterme denied accusations he had sought to influence an appeal court which last week upheld a challenge by shareholders to a state-led carve-up of the bank, but acknowledged that the Supreme Court's findings made his position untenable.

"I trust the parliamentary investigation committee that is to be set up will bring to light the facts as they occurred and establish the truth," he said in a statement.

Leterme tendered his resignation a first time in July after failing to break a political deadlock among the country's Dutch- and French-speaking groups, but the king refused it that time.

A year ago, the king brought back former premier Guy Verhofstadt to head a caretaker government after Leterme had failed to form a coalition following June elections.

It might be harder for Leterme to remain in power on this occasion, with analysts suggesting he was unlikely to feature in any new cabinet.

His government was accused of seeking to influence the verdict of the Brussels appeal court, which last week froze the state-led carve-up of Fortis and part sale to France's BNP Paribas.

The government still needs to push through parliament a key deal to boost the economy, which is widely expected to contract in the fourth quarter.

It also has important legislation on wages awaiting approval and needs to find some way of resolving the debacle surrounding Fortis, Belgium's largest private sector employer.

Leterme came to power in March after nine months of deadlock over the extent that powers should be devolved to Belgium's regions -- a key demand for Dutch-speaking Flemish parties.

He comes from an area known for its support for Flemish independence, but nevertheless straddles the linguistic divide in having a Flemish mother and Walloon father and supporting the Standard de Liege, a French-speaking football club.

TRT World aires documentary on devastating effects of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict (VIDEO)
TRT World aires documentary on devastating effects of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict (VIDEO)
Level of dollarization on individuals' bank deposits in Azerbaijan increase
Level of dollarization on individuals' bank deposits in Azerbaijan increase
Azerbaijani president: According to our intelligence, very serious military training under way
Azerbaijani president: According to our intelligence, very serious military training under way
Loading Bars
Latest
Gakharia: Georgia is a part of European civilization
Chinese mainland reports no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases
American Airlines to get $5.5 bn loan from US Treasury
Togo's prime minister and government resign, presidency says
Brazil exceeds 140,000 deaths from COVID-19
124 illegal immigrants rescued off Libyan coast: UN
Seventeen more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day — crisis center
U.S. COVID-19 cases surpass 7 mln -- Johns Hopkins University
FAA chief set to conduct 737 MAX evaluation flight next week
UK pledges over $400 million for WHO, calls for end to 'ugly rifts'
Military plane crashes in Ukraine, killing 22
UAE reports 1,008 new COVID-19 cases, 89,540 in total
Turkmen textile company reveales production volume
Coronavirus cases pass half-million mark in France
Kazakhstan's export to Romania decreases amid COVID-19
TRT World aires documentary on devastating effects of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict (VIDEO)
Inflow of Turkish labor migrants to France plunges to record low
Iran's trade with EU declines
Google to block election ads after November 3
Police officer shot dead at custody centre in London
Turkmen textile company talks impact of COVID-19 on exports
Level of dollarization on individuals' bank deposits in Azerbaijan increase
Georgia reveals volume of processed grapes as of Sept.25
Rise in COVID-19 cases in Turkey now under control, health minister assures
Azerbaijani president: According to our intelligence, very serious military training under way
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia is preparing for war
President Ilham Aliyev: Region has not become a safer place, unfortunately, situation is deteriorating
US embassy in Azerbaijan urges to reconsider non-essential travel outside Absheron Peninsula
Global COVID-19 death toll could hit two million before vaccine in wide use: WHO
'Intellectual Field' to allow stabilize production level in Kazakhstan
Iran's auto giants to talk over hybrid vehicles production
Azerbaijani ministry discloses volume of toxic emissions from cars
Georgian expert: Armenian authorities controlling separatist regime in Karabakh crossed red line
Azerbaijani minister of economy reviews activity of industrial enterprises in Ganja (PHOTO)
Volume of maritime cargo transshipment from Portugal via Turkey disclosed
Tactical-special and combat training classes underway in Azerbaijan (PHOTO/VİDEO)
EBRD and FAO to assist Georgia in field of agro tourism
Uzbekistan to be supplied with Russian coronavirus vaccines
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to maintain Uzbek energy and water resources balance
Azerbaijan’s Bakcell preparing discounts for teachers within project
UK study shows rapid test has diagnostic sensitivity over 99%
Kazakhstan's grain export volume revealed
Amazon hiring 150 employees in Israel
Baku Higher Oil School on top of grade ranking among universities in Azerbaijan
Mortgage lending via state line in Azerbaijan up
Russia leading exporter of polymer products to Turkmenistan
Volume of deposits up in Georgia
September occupancies up in Georgian regional hotels
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan strengthening co-op in medical tourism
Rates of dollarization on loans and deposits up in Georgia
Volume of deposits in Azerbaijan grows
Russia increases exports of frozen vegetables to Turkmenistan
Bakcell talks about network congestion and secure internet
Azerbaijani banks increase lending to clients
Iranian government is modernizing agriculture in Tehran Province
Italy lowers import of Turkish cars
Loans and deposits, expressed as percentage of GDP, increase in Georgia
Netherlands increase export volume to Kazakhstan year-on-year
Georgian hazelnuts exports up
Azerbaijan's Anglo Asian Mining reveals 1H2020 income
Several industrial projects to be implemented in Kazakhstan's Almaty
Azerbaijan's Azexport portal to place insurance services
Sooner Armenia withdraws its armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, sooner the conflict will be resolved (PHOTO)
Moscow reports 1,560 new coronavirus cases, highest since June 12
Azerbaijani schoolchildren perform successfully at 32nd International Olympiad in Informatics (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan confirms 137 more COVID-19 recoveries
ADB: Developed capital markets enhance financial stability in Azerbaijan
Covid-19 daily infections swell 12% to new record
Energy efficiency to be increased at Uzbek manufacturing enterprises
Shell books tanker to load crude at Libya's Zueitina oil port
Turkmenistan’s Oil Refineries extends tender for gasoline purchase
Kazakhstan's QazTech Ventures to fund Uzbek startups
Gas exports from Azerbaijan to Turkey significantly up
VTB Bank, Entrepreneurship Development Fund of Azerbaijan issuing loans to businesses
Azerbaijani FM receives ambassador of Greece
Vietnam interested in import of Azerbaijani products
EU working with Georgian partners to strengthen cybersecurity in country
Azerbaijani ministry talks introduction of contactless payment in public transport in districts
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to hold deposit auction
Azerbaijan discloses data on tobacco exports for 2019
BP: Oil demand to remain central part of energy system for next 10–15 years
Azerbaijani MP: Armenia resettling terrorists to Nagorno-Karabakh region, facts prove ASALA's presence
Apple says has always abided by Irish law as EU appeals court ruling
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan up again after decline
Iran assigns housing units to low income
Money supply increased in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan to export fuel diesel to Pakistan
Georgia reveals volume of premiums attracted by insurance companies
UN highlights Azerbaijani president’s speech at 75th session of UN General Assembly
Kazakhstan's largest oil pipeline company to buy power stations via tender
LNG demand to double over next 20 years
Volume of gas production by Turkmenistan’s Lebapgazchykarysh revealed
Expert talks putting Azerbaijan's domestic tourism back on its feet
Deputy FM: Rejecting proposals to resolve conflict, Armenian leadership makes negotiations meaningless
Road in border village of Azerbaijan’s Gazakh district being overhauled (PHOTO)
Israeli politician: We find Azerbaijan a good friend of Israel
Around 6,000 people internationally wanted by Russia
Buffett-following investment trust to list in London
EU Special Representative: EU has strong interest in peace, stability in South Caucasus
Georgia reports 265 new cases of coronavirus
All news