Belgian finance minister Steven Vanackere resigns

5th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere on Tuesday announced he was resigning from the government after being cited in a scandal concerning Belfius bank, Belga news agency said.

Vanackere denied any wrongdoing in an affair regarding the bank and a social organisation linked to his Flemish Christian-democrat CDV party, the agency added.

Vanackere, 49, was given the finance portfolio in December 2011 when Socialist Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo formed a coalition government after an almost two-year political vacuum during which Belgium remained in the hands of a caretaker government.

He served as foreign minister in that government for two years.

His name came up in the press over the January buyback by Belfius -- formerly Dexia Banque Belgique -- of 110 million euros worth of shares owned by two social organisations linked to his party, against a loan at preferential terms of 6.25 percent interest, plus a discreet 1.5 percent bonus.

The press said the deal was negotiated through a Belfius administrator who occasionally worked out of the minister's office.

© 2013 AFP

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