14 June 2005

14th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

'Euthanasia kits' off limits for doctors

'Euthanasia kits' off limits for doctors

The association of physicians, Orde van Geneesheren, has informed the Health Ministry it has banned doctors from prescribing a 'euthanasia kit', claiming it is in breach of deontology, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported. The association said a doctor must know exactly what form of euthanasia he or she is choosing and what medication is necessary. The ban comes after three workgroups were established to draw up clear agreements over the availability of 'euthanasia kits'. The chairman of a special euthanasia commission, Wim Distelmans, defended the kits, saying doctors must detail all products and the correct dosage when proscribing euthanasia. Doctors are also required to personally order the kits at pharmacists and return any unused drugs.
Minister rejects budget concerns

Budget Minister Johan Vande Lanotte has downplayed a forecast by the National Bank (NBB) that he will need to save an extra EUR 1.5 billion to ensure a balanced 2005 budget. The bank also said extra savings of EUR 4.2 billion would be necessary in 2006. Claiming the figure for this year was very high, Vande Lanotte also said if the forecast pans out right and the government does not make any cuts, a resulting budget deficit of 0.5 percent of national income will not be a "budgetary disaster", newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.

Call to change naturalisation law

Some 247,000 foreigners have taken out Belgian nationality since legislation paving the way for accelerated naturalisation came into force in May 2000. The figures were presented by Christian Democrat CD&V chairman Jo Vandeurzen, who is campaigning for a thorough revision of the law, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' said.  He said between 2001 and 2004, some 3,711 immigrants obtained Belgian nationality without having set foot in Belgium. Vandeurzen urged for the creation of a central commission in which all citizenship applications would be lodged.

Socialists renew call for 'Marshall Plan'

The chairman of the Francophone Socialist Party (PS), Elio Di Rupo, calls for Walloon and Brussels to push harder for an economic development plan for the south of the country. Though not new, Di Rupo dubs his proposal a 'Marshall Plan' for Walloon's development, newspaper 'La Libre' writes. The French-speaking part of Belgium is stagnating economically behind Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of the country.

Polluted ground dumped in Walloon

An estimated 800,000 ton of polluted ground dug up in construction works in Flanders was either reused in raising land levels elsewhere in Flanders or simply dumped in Walloon. The Flemish construction federation VCB based it assertions on the fact the region's ground cleaning plant processed much less ground this year than expected, 'De Morgen' reported. The VCB claims most of the ground would have been dumped in the Walloon region, where it is not compulsory to clean polluted land before reusing it.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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