Belgian Transport Minister Jacqueline Galant resigned Friday, after enduring days of criticism that became more pointed after a European Commission report from last year — finding flaws in Belgian airport security — was leaked.
Galant’s resignation comes a little more than three weeks after suicide bombers struck the Zaventem airport in Brussels, in a deadly attack that also included a coordinated strike at a metro station. This week, she has been accused of failing to act on the 2015 security report and of refusing to fund stronger inspections.
A scandal is now boiling over how Galant handled security concerns and what she told Prime Minister Charles Michel about the European report — one of several documents that were recently leaked by federal workers and members of an opposition political party.
From Brussels, Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit:
“Galant says she quit as transport minister because there had been a destructive ‘crusade’ against her inside her administration. Opposition politicians and members of her own staff have been releasing documents showing she received a critical European Union audit alleging ‘serious deficiencies’ at the Brussels airport.
“Galant had told Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel she had not seen such a review, and that’s what he told Parliament yesterday. Announcing Galant’s departure, Michel was clearly displeased.
” ‘It is unacceptable,’ Michel says, that he was not informed of the June 2015 critique that said there were ‘serious deficiencies’ in airport security. A member of Galant’s own staff warned her in a leaked memo even earlier that there were what he called ‘well-known jihadists’ with airport access passes.”
Discussing her resignation Friday, Galant — facing the media as she sat alone at a long table — said, “The orchestrated and theatrical confusion of the last 48 hours prevents me from continuing with serenity in accomplishing my tasks.”
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!