Belgian news in brief, 13 March 2006

13th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

Drugs gang had maps of Antwerp Court

Drugs gang had maps of Antwerp Court

The map of the new, heavily secured Antwerp Court has fallen into the hands of serious criminals. Police found the maps during house raids aimed at a gang accused of smuggling hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into Belgium. An employee with the security firm Securitas is accused of passing the maps onto the gang. He was arrested last week and spent several days in remand detention. A Justice Ministry spokesman said it is uncertain what the gang planned to do with the maps. He stressed that the maps were not very detailed.

Bird flu costs Belgium EUR 20 million

The worldwide cost of the bird flu crisis has already mounted to EUR 4 billion. Asia accounts for three-quarters of that cost. The damage in Belgium is considered minor, but the threat of bird flu has already cost the nation EUR 20 million. Public concern has led to a sharp decline in poultry sales, Ghent University agriculture economics academic Jacques Viaene said.

Freezing temperatures recorded overnight

The mercury plunged below freezing point on Sunday night. The coldest temperature was recorded in Elsenborn (Wallonia), where minus 17 degrees Celsius was recorded. In Brussels, a temperature of minus six was recorded. Meteorological bureau KMI-IRM said the temperatures were "noteworthy but not exceptional". The same temperatures were recorded in Brussels 50 years ago. For the temperatures in the East Cantons, the weather bureau had to go back to 1895, when minus 24 was recorded. The current cold temperatures are forecast to continue for the short-term as a high-pressure zone in Scandinavia forces cold temperatures from Siberia into Western Europe.

Atomium on new EUR 2 coin

The Royal Mint of Belgium will start producing on 29 March the new EUR 2 coins, which will depict the Atomium on one side. The first coin will be pressed on 29 March at 2pm in the presence of Finance Minister Didier Reynders at the Royal Mint in Brussels.  

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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