Leterme Bars ‘Blind’ Asset Sales, Cites Belgacom Dividends

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme ruled out a policy of “blindly” privatizing state-owned assets as a way of cutting the country’s debt.

The state earns good dividends from Belgacom SA, the country’s largest phone company, and “I don’t want to throw that out,” Leterme said on Belgian radio today. There should be “no privatization at the wrong time and blindly. We have to reflect in an intelligent way in the three to four years to come on undertaking asset sales.”

Leterme also called on the six parties negotiating a new government to find a “reasonable” way of taxing nuclear power in order to cut the budget deficit.

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