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New Government a Political Milestone

World IN BRIEF / BELGIUM

July 13, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

In a historic transition, Belgium's new government of liberals, Socialists and environmentalists took office after more than 40 years of rule by the center-right. Guy Verhofstadt leads a government that combines fiscal conservatives with Socialists, promising policies friendly to business and the environment and an overhaul of scandal-ridden state institutions. In June 13 elections, the center-right government of former Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene was handed heavy losses after scandals under his administration ranging from police bungling of a child murder case to government foot-dragging in a food contamination scare.

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