Belgian government falls

Belgium`s government fell Monday, three days after the prime minister offered his resignation in a row over language and political rights, the royal palace announced.

Brussels: Belgium`s government fell Monday, three days after the prime minister offered his resignation in a row over language and political rights, the royal palace announced.

The collapse comes amidst feuding between Dutch- and French-speakers over the division of the Brussels electoral district, and two months before Belgium is set to take over the European Union`s rotating presidency.

Belgium`s head of state, King Albert II, "received in audience this afternoon Prime Minister Yves Leterme. The king accepted the resignation of the government which the prime minister offered Thursday", a brief statement from the palace said.

The king tasked the fallen government with continuing caretaker duties, the statement said.

The political collapse comes after more than a week of deadlock between the Flemish (Dutch-speaking) majority and francophone minority over the division of the Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde electoral district, the only bilingual constituency in the country.

The constitutional court ruled in 2003 that the so-called BHV district would have to be divided.

Since then, however, politicians have repeatedly hit deadlock as they tried to answer the Flemish demand to make parts of the district monolingual while responding to the French-speaking demand to allow voters throughout the region to support French-speaking parties.

Bureau Report

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