Belgian news in brief, 22 March 2006

22nd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

Man jailed over citizenship fraud

Man jailed over citizenship fraud

Antwerp Court has sentenced the main suspect in a case of naturalisation fraud to a three-year jail term. In total, 166 asylum seekers — most of whom came from Georgia, Russia or Israel — were awarded Belgian nationality fraudulently. Abraham Melikhov, 50, was sentenced in absentia and the court ordered his immediate arrest. A public servant with the Brussels naturalisation service was given a 12-month suspended jail term and fined EUR 5,000 for falsifying naturalisation approvals. Of the 166 asylum seekers, two were jailed for eight months, 66 were given a suspended eight-month jail term and six suspects were given a reprieve.

Traffic deaths continue to decline

There were 1,163 traffic deaths in Belgium in 2004, a decline of 4.3 percent compared with 2003 (1,216) and 11.6 percent compared with 2002 (1,315).  Most deaths (714) were in passenger vehicles, followed by motorbikes, (137), pedestrians (115), cyclists (89), scooters (38) light trucks (37) and trucks and tractors (21). There were 48,670 traffic accidents resulting in death or injury in 2004, a 3.7 percent decline on the year previous. A rise in the number of accidents was recorded in 2003 and 2002.
Francophone students protest in Brussels

Some 1,500 French-speaking students and teachers protested in Brussels on Wednesday against reforms to the Belgian Francophone higher education system. The reforms will restrict the number of foreign students to 30 percent in certain degrees. Large numbers of French students currently study in Belgium because they have to undergo entrance exams in France. The protestors entered into talks with French Community Premier Marie Arena and Tertiary Education Minister Marie-Dominique Simonet on Wednesday afternoon.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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