९ आश्विन २०८०, मंगलवार
     Tue Sep 26 2023
  English Edition

Belgian PM defends budget ahead of confidence vote

18  Oct,BRUSSELS  – Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on Sunday defended his budget and vision for the future after tensions within the fractious coalition government nearly sank his programme earlier in the week.

Michel had been due to deliver his annual state of the union address on Tuesday but spending cuts, notably in health, plus a controversial capital gains tax exposed sharp differences which the premier only papered over after “intense” crisis talks.

He told parliament, summoned especially for a very unusual Sunday session, that he was determined to press ahead with economic and social reforms to promote jobs and growth.”It is always the weakest who pay first when the economy falters,” he said, arguing that Belgium was leading the way in changing how people work and employers manage their business.

Labour market reforms include greater flexibility in working hours sought by management but they are opposed by many as leaving workers more vulnerable.Michel insisted that change was imperative to modernise the economy and make it more competitive.

In the budget accord reached after lengthy talks late Friday, the government agreed overall savings of three billion euros ($3.4 billion) but left the capital gains tax to be considered further.

Michel’s address will be debated and put to a confidence vote on Tuesday — when he also faces a potentially embarrassing problem over Belgium’s role in endorsing a landmark free trade deal between the European Union and Canada.

On Friday, lawmakers in the small region of Wallonia voted to block what is known as the CETA agreement, due to be approved on Tuesday by all EU trade ministers and then signed by leaders the following week.

Paul Magnette, socialist head of the Wallonia regional administration, said the vote was not meant to sink the accord but it was a demand to reopen negotiations so as to ensure local interests were not harmed.

The Belga news agency reported later Sunday that Wallonia officials had met with the European Commission and members of Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders’s office to discuss the issue.

A Wallonia spokesman was cited as saying that the “technical” meeting allowed the region to once again make its case over CETA but there were no negotiations.(AFP)


काठमाडौँ । उपप्रधानमन्त्री तथा गृहमन्त्री नारायणकाजी श्रेष्ठले चिकित्सकमाथि दुर्व्यवहार र आक्रमण गर्नेमाथि कडा कारबाही

काठमाडौं । सर्वोच्च अदालतले बालुवाटारस्थित ललिता निवासको जग्गा हिनामिना प्रकरणमा नाम मुछिएका पूर्वप्रधानमन्त्रीद्धय डा.

बेइजिङ । चीन, दक्षिण कोरिया र जापानका शीर्ष नेताबीच यथासक्य चाँडो शिखर वार्ता हुनेभएको

येरेभान । नागोर्नो काराबाखमा सोमबार इन्धन डिपो विष्फोट हुँदा २० जनाले ज्यान गुमाएका छन्

बेइजिङ । चीनका विदेशमन्त्री वाङ यीले आगामी नोभेम्बरमा संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिकामा हुने एशिया–प्रशान्त आर्थिक