Hours of overnight talks have failed to bring a quick resolution to Belgium’s latest political crisis, and more talks are scheduled for today.
King Albert II is seeing all the country’s political leaders following the government’s resignation yesterday in a storm of allegations of leaning on the judiciary in the context of the rescue attempt of the crippled Fortis bank. Prime Minister Yves Leterme threw in the towel after the Supreme Court said he tried to influence the court of appeal. It had upheld a shareholder’s challenge to a state-led carve up of the banking giant. It is the third time this year Belgium has sunk into a leadership crisis, and this after a nine-month political deadlock following inconclusive elections. Opposition parties want fresh elections, but few in Leterme’s five-party coalition may want to test voters with the Fortis scandal on the front pages, and recession on the horizon.