Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt met with the leaders of his coalition Wednesday, seeking to stave off the collapse of his government because of a crisis over the early release of criminals.
The core cabinet and the party chairmen of the liberal-socialist coalition began talks at dawn to seek a compromise on how much of their term top criminals should serve before they can be paroled and how they should be reintegrated into society.
The Dutch-speaking Liberals want to toughen rules on conditional release while the francophone socialists insist that parole regulations are already more stringent than they were just a few years ago, reports AP.
The crisis comes less than two weeks ahead of municipal elections in Belgium, where the issue of security is a central theme.
The government parties fear a government crisis will also jeopardize ongoing budget talks.