Belgium wants to freeze forced bankruptcies

Belgium wants to freeze forced bankruptcies
Credit: Belga

A Royal Decree that would delay forced business bankruptcies in Belgium due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) may be coming soon, L'Echo reported on Wednesday.

The goal is "to protect the self-employed and businesses in difficulty by temporarily freezing the bankruptcy proceedings that would be caused by the current crisis," according to the cabinet of the Minister for SME's and the Self-Employed, Denis Ducarme.

"The aim is to grant a period of respite to companies in difficulty due to the current circumstances so that they can resume their activities after the crisis, by temporarily sheltering them from bankruptcy proceedings," Ducarme said.

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"This measure, which corresponds to an expectation expressed by several stakeholders, would provide companies with cash relief to help them weather the crisis more serenely. We are continuing to examine these different avenues with Minister of Justice Koen Geens. I hope that we will be able to quickly put them into practice."

The decree would have the effect of freezing all requests for bankruptcy for a period yet to be determined, coming from a creditor, the public prosecutor's office or the company's own admission of bankruptcy.

The federal government's far-reaching measures to combat the coronavirus has forced many businesses to close. Last week, it was reported that 135,000 self-employed people in Belgium had applied for income support.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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