Belgian news in brief, 22 July 2005

22nd July 2005, Comments 0 comments

4.7pc more passengers at Zaventem

4.7pc more passengers at Zaventem

Zaventem Airport has recorded a 4.7 percent increase in passengers in the first six months of this year. In total, 7.54 million people passed through the airport in the first half of 2005 and cargo freight increased by 5.5 percent, airport operator BIAC has said. The number of flights remained stable at 125,196, or 0.1 percent more than the first six months of 2004. It means there were fewer empty seats on planes, news service Skynet reported.

'Terror' refugees under investigation

The Antwerp public prosecution office has decided to investigate possible criminal activities of Pakistani and Afghan asylum seekers. The investigation was prompted by a concerns raised by the city's social security office OCMW, which revealed about 60 refugees make frequent trips back to their countries of origin. The Antwerp prosecutor initially denied it was investigating the refugees. The asylum seekers are suspected of terrorist or drugs crimes.

New case of animal abuse discovered

For the third time in two weeks, police discovered a case of animal abuse on Thursday, broadcaster VTM reported on Friday. Police discovered 60 neglected animals locked in a house in Zoutleeuw in Flemish Brabant. The residents had left for a holiday and the animals — including dogs, birds, ducks and rabbits — had been without food or water for a couple of days. The animals are now being cared for by the Sint-Truiden animal shelter.

Tour de France to grace Flanders

The Tour de France will pass through Flanders in 2007, Flemish Prime Minister Yves Leterme said on Thursday. "It is intended that the Tour will pass through Flanders for two or three days," he said. Leterme said details will be confirmed in September or October, but stressed it was definite that the Tour will pass through Flanders, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported. Six or seven Flemish municipalities have applied with Tour organisers to host the prestigious bicycle race.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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