Government takes over €50m debts from merging municipalities

Summary

Eight municipalities in Limburg and East Flanders that plan to merge in 2019 have had their debts taken over by the government of Flanders

Merging in 2019

The Flemish government has taken over nearly €50 million in debt from towns that have decided to merge in 2019, minister for administrative affairs Liesbeth Homans has said.

Municipalities in Flanders have until the end of the year to submit a desire to merge by January 2019. The government has agreed to take over municipal debts of €500 per resident, up to a maximum of €20 million for each merger.

There are currently eight municipalities concerned: Meeuwen-Gruitrode and Opglabbeek and Overpelt and Neerpelt in Limburg; Kruishoutem and Zingem and Aalter and Knesselare in East Flanders. Deinze and Nevele in East Flanders and Puurs and Sint-Amands in Antwerp province have also expressed an interest in merging.

Of the municipalities that have already decided to merge, Overpelt (pictured) and Neerpelt account for nearly €16 million, for almost 32 million residents.

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