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Leterme fights for political life

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Leterme fights for political life


The political future of Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme is hanging by a thread ahead of a Supreme Court report later today.

Leterme is under severe pressure to quit because of accusations he meddled in an appeal court ruling which froze the break-up of the stricken banking giant Fortis. Last night, Leterme earned a slight reprieve after Ministers from Belgium’s coalition agreed no one would resign – at least for now. Leterme has denied influencing the court process. But, Belgian press have had a field day, after he admitted one of his officials contacted the husband of a judge several times. Fortis was chopped up by the Benelux governments after an initial bail out failed to calm investors. French bank BNP Paribas agreed to buy the ailing Belgian arm for around 11 billion euros. But, legal action by shareholders, who are meeting today, forced the government to abandon the takeover.

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