Belgian news in brief, 16 August 2006

16th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

Government battles costing money

Government battles costing money

Hundreds of legal battles between various governments are being waged in Belgium, prompting legal specialists to urge for another means to settle disputes, such as mediation. Starting a legal process can quickly cost EUR 1,000. There are also costs for the process and lawyers. In the end, it's the taxpayer who pays. "A government saves a lot of cents by not stepping immediately to the court. Mediation is a cheaper way of solving disputes," Council of State auditor Eric Lanksweerdt said. Mediation is already used in the Netherlands and the US, even if governments are the involved parties.

Hunger striker in hospital

An asylum seeker on a hunger strike in Leuven has been admitted to hospital. The man, of Bhutan, last ate any food 38 days ago. He and eight others have been refusing food for more than a month. The hunger strikers are demanding an official residence permit and a less arbitrary immigration system. They have signed a document declaring they don’t wish to be force fed if their condition becomes critical. The protestors at the Saint Michiels centre in Leuven have slammed the continued silence of Interior Minister Patrick Dewael.

Marriage bureaus under investigation

The Economic Affairs Ministry is going to investigate the 120 marriage bureaus in Belgium and examine their contracts. Since February, marriage bureaus have been obligated to present clients with a standard contract. The contract states how many marriage candidates the bureau has and how many meetings with potential partners a client has a right to. The price also needs to be included in the contract. The federal government is concerned by incorrect information being supplied to clients and the fact that some of them were never given a copy of the contract. The investigation will start in the autumn and fines may be issued.

Skeleton found in Verviers

Police have found a skeleton in a garden in Andrimont in the Wallonian city of Verviers. The skeleton is probably the remains of a 33-year-old woman allegedly killed by her husband three years ago. The man buried the body first at an industrial zone, but when construction works were planned there, he relocated the body. A family member who helped the man move the body has now told police where the body is buried. DNA tests will confirm whether the skeleton is that of the murdered woman.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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