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Defense Minister Delcroix Resigns in Scandal, 4th Leader This Year

December 8, 1994

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ For the fourth time this year, a top government official has been forced out of office, but the center-left coalition of Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene is expected to survive.

Defense Minister Leo Delcroix resigned Thursday after he was implicated in a shady real estate deal.

After earlier denials, Delcroix admitted Wednesday he owned a villa in southern France worth $450,000 to $600,000. But he denied allegations that the villa was built with illegal funds and illegal labor.

Delcroix said he stepped down to keep the government from becoming implicated in the scandal.

Dehaene announced a fellow Christian Democrat, Karel Pinxten, would succeed Delcroix.

Pinxten is an expert in economics and foreign trade and has relatively little experience in defense and strategic issues.

12-08-94 1343EST

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