Belgian party in tatters as former premier quits
Former Prime Minister Paul van den Boeynants has resigned as leader of Belgium's Social Christian Party after refusing Dec. 1 to join a center-right government.
His decision left the party in disarray. The party's stand quashed efforts by the Flemish Liberal Party leader to form a coalition government and left King Baudouin the task of choosing another politician to try to end the two-month-old political crisis. The previous government fell after a rift over funding for the steel industry in Belgium's economically depressed southern region.