Belgian King Returns To Resolve Political Crisis

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Belgian King Albert cut short his holidays in France and headed back to Brussels as talks there on forming a government threatened to collapse Wednesday, prolonging a 15-month-long political crisis.

Belgium has been without a government since June 10, 2010, as leaders of the country's deeply divided French- and Dutch-speaking communities have been unable to form a coalition government.

Chief negotiator Elio Di Rupo, appointed by the king to help the parties bridge their differences, said Wednesday that negotiations had stalled.

His statement came as the leader of the caretaker government, Yves Leterme, announced that he plans to step down at the end of the year for a job at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Belgium is coming under international pressure to resolve the prolonged political deadlock or risk facing a negative economic backlash.