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Belgian king accepts resignations over migration row

King Philippe accepts resignations of several ministers amid a row over migration

Diyar Güldoğan   | 09.12.2018
Belgian king accepts resignations over migration row

By Serife Cetin

BRUSSELS

King Philippe of Belgium accepted resignations of right-wing N-VA party ministers over a migration row on Sunday, country's royal palace said.

Belgian Royal Palace stated that resignations of Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon, Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveld, Defense Minister Sander Loones, Migration Minister Theo Francken and Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities and Fighting Poverty Zuhal Demir have been accepted.

Belga news agency said that Health Minister Maggie de Block will be at the Migration Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo will go to Finance Ministry and State Minister Peter de Crem will be appointed as the new Interior Minister.

In the story of Belga, it was indicated that Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders will also serve as the Defense Minister. 

Belgium’s right-wing N-VA party, the biggest party in parliament, on Sunday announced it is quitting the ruling coalition amid a row over migration.

"I would like to state that the N-VA ministers have officially presented their resignations," Interior Minister Jan Jambon told VRT radio.

Jambon’s move followed Saturday’s resignation of Migration Minister Theo Francken, an N-VA member whose anti-immigrant remarks have stirred controversy.

Prime Minister Charles Michel on Saturday confirmed that he will attend a UN conference in Morocco starting Monday to express support for the UN Global Compact for Migration. 

For his part, Michel said the government will continue as a minority coalition including the liberal MR, the center-right CD&V, and the Open VLD.

According to Belgian local media, Michel on Sunday will meet with King Philippe to inform him about the resignations.

Although the UN pact is not legally binding, the N-VA argued that it would violate Belgium's sovereignty and undermine the government's stance against migrants.

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