Belgian transport minister quits over airport security

BRUSSELS: The Belgian transport minister resigned on Friday after accusations she lied about an EU report that criticized security at Brussels Airport a year before last month’s Islamic State suicide bombings.


In a formal confirmation, the Royal Palace said King Philippe had accepted the resignation of Jacqueline Galant, who was expected to give a news conference shortly.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Charles Michel had defended Galant, who is from his own centrist party in the coalition government, insisting that her office had not been aware of a critical report sent in March 2015 by EU officials.

Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Public broadcaster RTBF quoted a spokesman for Michel’s centrist MR party saying documents presented late on Thursday showed that Galant’s office had indeed been told of the report.

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