In Belgium, the political stalemate is set to end with Elio di Rupo likely to become the next prime minister after the King asked the French speaking socialist leader to form a new government.
The move comes after the political parties reached a deal on the 2012 budget in which Belgium would reduce its deficit to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product.
The agreement cleared the last major obstacle to the formation of an new government more than 18 months after elections were held.
“I think that we can be satisfied we have a budget that was put together in a responsible way and that offers perspective. It includes things that need to be done, also things that are not always pleasant,” said Bruno Tobback, leader of the Flemish socialist party.
“Europe wanted measures to keep more people at work,and we go a long way towards that goal. This is a budget with reforms that will satisfy Europe,” was the reaction of Alexander De Croo, leader of the Flemish liberal party, Open VLD.
Pressure was building on Belgium to act after Standard and Poors downgraded the country’s credit rating, saying the government’s inability to respond to economic pressures had contributed to the downgrade.
Under the new budget it is expected Belgium will be able to balance its books in 2015.
Analysts said the intervention by S&P was decisive in getting the six parties in talks to reach a deal, overcoming deep-seated linguistic and political divisions.
- 1Obama unveils US plan to cut carbon emissions
- 2Ukrainians protest against a planned “buffer zone”
- 3Fatal floods batter India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam and Nepal
- 4Handling of a child sex abuse complaint against a former British prime minister to be investigated.
- 5UK police investigated over alleged child sex abuse cover-up involving former Prime Minister
Latest world news
ASEAN foreign ministers set to discuss South China Sea tensions
Nearly 1.5 million counterfeit cigarettes seized in Poland
California wildfires: Thousands told to flee as ‘Rocky’ ravages drought-parched terrain
Kosovo votes in favour war crimes court
Handling of a child sex abuse complaint against a former British prime minister to be investigated.
Wires > News
- 08:52 CET Pakistan hangs man lawyers say was a child when charged with murder
- 08:49 CET Good progress made on Pacific trade deal despite talks failure -…
- 08:47 CET Returning Uighurs attacked Thai, Chinese police, China says
- 08:35 CET Japan suspends work on U.S. base on Okinawa as Abe battles low…
- 06:06 CET Japan A-bomb survivors speak out against nuclear power, decry…
- 05:12 CET China’s foreign minister to visit Ebola-affected countries
- 04:10 CET Blast in Korean DMZ wounds two South Korean soldiers – military
- 03:59 CET Illegal immigration a dominant theme at Republican forum even…