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Belgium faces uphill task as it pays record interest rate to sell debt
Date 29/11/2011 17:30  Author webmaster  Hits 375  Language Global
• 29 NOV 2011

By Arthur Beesley | Irish Times

THE TASK facing incoming Belgian prime minister Elio Di Rupo was underlined yesterday as the country paid a record interest rate to sell debt, an auction that followed a downgrade by rating agency Standard Poor’s.

Almost 18 months after an inconclusive election, Mr Di Rupo struck a deal at the weekend on a €11.3 billion austerity budget for 2012 and other cost-saving measures to follow in 2013 and 2014.

The weekend deal, which came one day after the SP downgrade, finally clears the way for Mr Di Rupo, leader of Belgium’s French-speaking socialists in the southern part of the country, to start forming his cabinet.

At a time of tumult in the euro zone, the political stalemate in the country has undermined confidence in Belgian debt.

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