EU Commissioner accuses Leterme of lying
Nelly Kroes Leterme didn’t tell the truth when replying to questions about the events surrounding the bail-out of Fortis bank.
The European Competition Commissioner Nelly Kroes has accused the Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme (Flemish Christian democrat) of lying. Kroes said that Leterme didn’t tell the truth when replying to questions about the events surrounding the bail-out of the bank and financial services group Fortis on Dutch television’s political magazine programme ‘Buitenhof’.
Leterme had claimed that he was unable to contact anyone at the European Commission during the weekend when the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg governments stepped in to save Fortis.
Speaking on the Dutch television chat show 'De Wereld Draait Door', Commissioner Kroes told viewers that there was staff present at the Competition Commission's offices during the weekend in question.
Ms Kroes added that the European Commission had been given insufficient information on the Fortis deal by the Belgian Government to enable it to judge whether EU rules on state support had been broken.
Ealier, Commissioner Kroes had said that she wants the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg governments to provide more information about the Fortis bail-out.
The Benelux governments pumped a total of 11 billion euros into Fortis at the end of September.
As the European Competition Commissioner, it’s up to Kroes to ascertain whether or not this contravened EU rules.
Kroes is especially interested to find out if the governments’ actions caused market disturbances on the stock exchanges where Fortis shares are listed.