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The Latest: Belgian official quits after climate plot remark

By The News · 05 of February 2019 18:23:12
Thousands of youngsters march during a climate change protest in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Thousands of teenagers in Belgium have skipped school for the fourth week in a row in an attempt to push authorities into providing better protection for the world's climate. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco), No available, Thousands of youngsters march during a climate change protest in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Thousands of teenagers in Belgium have skipped school for the fourth week in a row in an attempt to push authorities into providing better protection for the world's climate. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on climate change activism in Belgium (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

A Belgian environment minister has been forced to resign after saying she had state security confirmation that massive climate demonstrations in recent weeks were staged as a plot against her.

The regional environment minister, Joke Schauvliege, initially refused to step down after admitting she had no such information from state security services.

She was forced to resign later Tuesday after talks with her party leadership.

Schauvliege said: “I said something that was not correct,” but insisted it did not amount to lying.

The opposition said it was outrageous to lie and to abuse the name of the state security organization for personal purposes.

They also said the minister had tried to discredit a cause that has wide support in Belgium.

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10:00 a.m.

A Belgian environment minister has been forced to climb down over accusations that the massive climate demonstrations in Belgium over the past weeks were a plot and that she had state security confirmation.

Though regional environment minister Joke Schauvliege said Tuesday she had no such information from state security services, she said would not step down over her remarks.

Over the past two months, tens of thousands of protesters have demonstrated across the country for better climate protections and have often targeted her policies.

At first she welcomed the marches but over the weekend, she said “a lot of people in these marches don’t realize that they are part of a system which is a setup.” She added that “state security has told me about this.”

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