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Leterme offers to dissolve government

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Leterme offers to dissolve government
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Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme has offered his government’s resignation after a court report hinted it had tried to meddle in the judiciary. Belgium’s Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen has already stepped down over alleged allegations. The Supreme Court report raised suspicions political interference was used to influence a ruling, concerning the stricken banking giant Fortis.

The scandal has rocked Belgium’s already fragile coalition government. Prime Minister Yves Leterme is also under heavy pressure to quit. He has denied trying to influence the court process. But, the country’s press has been on the attack, after Leterme admitted one of his officials contacted the husband of a judge several times. The financial group was broken apart by the Benelux governments’ after the first banking bailout failed. French bank BNP Paribas offered to step in to save the Belgian operation for around 11 billion euros. But, legal action by shareholders, who were holding a general assembly today in Brussels, stopped the government’s rescue plan after a court ruling found in their favour.