BRUSSELS, Belgium — Belgium's king met behind closed doors with elected officials Saturday in an attempt to resolve a political crisis that has frozen action on dire economic problems including the sale of the country's largest bank.
The government has been trying to sell much of the bank, Fortis, to France's BNP Paribas. Fortis was forced to seek government help during tight credit conditions and was eventually carved up. Thousands of jobs could be lost if the sale to Paribas goes awry.
But Belgian shareholders who have seen their stakes become nearly worthless challenged the sale and won a decision by a Belgian appeals court, which ruled Dec. 12 that they should have been consulted on any major deals.
The country's highest court said Friday that it had indications that Prime Minister Yves Leterme's government had tried to influence the appeals court decision.