Belgium king brings in former PM to resolve crisis

The king accepted the resignation of Leterme's government earlier in the day.

Belgium king brings in former PM to resolve crisis

Belgian King Albert gave former premier Wilfried Martens the task on Monday of resolving the political crisis that followed last week's collapse of Prime Minister Yves Leterme's government.

Belgium's third political breakdown in a year was prompted by a Supreme Court report on political meddling in a legal case over the rescue of stricken bank Fortis,and made more intractable by differences between the country's Dutch- and French-speaking communities.

"The king charged him with an exploratory mission so as to find a solution quickly to the current political crisis," the palace said in a statement, adding that Martens, 72, had accepted the job. Martens led Belgium between 1979 and 1992.

The king accepted the resignation of Leterme's government earlier in the day but asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity.

Leterme ruled out a return to office, but there was little sign that the five coalition parties would agree on a successor.


Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2008, 12:27
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