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World

Belgium Breaks Political Deadlock on Budget -PM

The federal government had pencilled in budget savings in excess of 3 billion euros ($3.36 billion) mainly by cutting back on pension and healthcare spending

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel addresses a plenary session of the Belgian Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, October 13, 2016, photo: Reuters/Francois Lenoir
By Reuters Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
11 months ago

Belgium overcame a political deadlock over its budget late on Friday, Prime Minister Charles Michel said, after talks collapsed earlier this week straining his centre-right coalition.

“Agreement,” Michel tweeted near midnight in Brussels on Friday in a statement confirmed by his spokesman. Michel had to postpone his planned annual address before parliament due to the lack of a deal earlier.

The talks had failed when one of four parties in Michel’s government, the Flemish Christian Democrats, demanded the introduction of a capital gains tax which the three other parties in the government opposed.

The federal government had pencilled in budget savings in excess of 3 billion euros ($3.36 billion) mainly by cutting back on pension and healthcare spending.

Belgium’s federal government, which has for years been trying to produce a balanced budget, is expected to run a deficit of about 2.8 percent this year, just below the European Commission’s upper limit of 3 percent. ($1 = 0.8928 euros)

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