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.
UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the European Parliament, Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels, Belgium. - Website launched on 16.12.2009 Contact form for site-related issues