Belgian king appoints mediator to revive government

BRUSSELS, April 24 (BestGrowthStock) -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.
(Reporting by Antonia van de Velde; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Belgian king appoints mediator to revive government