October 26, 2016

Belgian minister resigns in Brussels airport security row

Jacqueline Galant, who has resigned as transport minister. Photograph: Laurent Dubrule/EPA

The Belgian transport minister has resigned following accusations she lied about an EU report that criticised security at Brussels airport long before last month’s bombing.

The prime minister, Charles Michel, said that after talks with the transport minister, Jacqueline Galant, “the minister presented her resignation to the King and the King accepted it.”

Michel had earlier defended the minister, who is from his own centrist party in the coalition government, saying her office had not been aware of a critical report sent a year ago by EU officials.

The confidential EU document, made public by two Belgian opposition parties, said the oversight of security measures at the nation’s airports was flawed and cited serious deficiencies in the way safety checks were managed.

On 22 March, two suicide bombers detonated suitcase bombs in the departure hall of Brussels Airport before a third struck a metro train in the city. In all, they killed 32 people.

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