Belgian news in brief, 23 November 2005

23rd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

Belgian PM cancels Merkel meeting

Belgian PM cancels Merkel meeting

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has cancelled a planned meeting with the new German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Verhofstadt was due to meet Merkel on Wednesday during her first visit to Brussels as German leader. However, the Belgian leader has cancelled all public appointments this week following the death of his father on Monday.

One-third of Belgians overweight

One out of every three Belgians is overweight and 10 percent is obese, the Food Industry Federation said on Wednesday. However, overweight people do not necessarily eat more than thin people. Nevertheless, the federation's study also revealed they have fewer friends, fewer hobbies and stay at home more often. The federation urged for a new approach to weight problems involving nutrition experts, schools and other associations.

Free gum infection test in 2006

Every Belgian between the age of 18 and 35 can undergo a free gum examination at the dentist. Health Minister Rudy Demotte aims to drastically reduce the number of gum infections. The infections cause loose teeth, but also heart and kidney ailments. Once examined, patients can be referred to further treatment or be taught improved mouth hygiene techniques. Minister Demotte has allocated EUR 1.5 million to the scheme.

Antwerp drugs gang jailed

Antwerp Court sentenced on Wednesday nine men for drugs smuggling crimes. The four leaders were given jail terms ranging in five to seven years. The gang smuggled 150kg of cocaine into Belgium via the Antwerp harbour. The drugs came from South America and were and were hidden in containers with coffee beans, wood and bananas.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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