Brussels mayor to resign over suspect homeless agency payments

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The mayor of Brussels tendered his resignation on Thursday after a parliamentary report said he had been paid for attending meetings of an agency for the city’s homeless without providing proof such meetings ever took place.

The report led to calls from across the political spectrum, even from those within Yvan Mayeur’s Socialist Party, for him to step down.

“The mayor will offer his resignation this evening,” a spokeswoman for Mayeur said.

A report by the Brussels regional parliament found that Mayeur had received up to 18,900 euros ($21,206) per year to attend for board meetings of the Samu Social agency on top of the salary he received as mayor.

The agency’s board could not provide any proof to the Brussels government of such meetings effectively taking place, saying they sometimes were conducted on the phone, the report seen by Reuters stated.

Samu Social provides support as well as emergency housing in the winter months to the homeless population of Brussels.

The mayor of Brussels, the largest of 19 districts in the capital region, told French-language daily Le Soir in an interview published on Thursday that the payments were not out of line.

“I’m a social worker, it is not charity. It is a real job,” he said.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Tom Heneghan