Belgian news in brief, 27 February 2006

27th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

Massive anti-credit campaign, The total debt of Belgian consumers rose in 2005 to EUR 1.84 billion, prompting Budget Minister Freya Van den Bossche to launch an information campaign warning against the dangers of credit. Of the 343,020 registered bad debtors (a slight increase compared with 2004), 19,000 had four or more credit loans. "People fill up one hole with another and never get out. This cannot continue," the minister said.

Massive anti-credit campaign

The total debt of Belgian consumers rose in 2005 to EUR 1.84 billion, prompting Budget Minister Freya Van den Bossche to launch an information campaign warning against the dangers of credit. Of the 343,020 registered bad debtors (a slight increase compared with 2004), 19,000 had four or more credit loans. "People fill up one hole with another and never get out. This cannot continue," the minister said.

Mittal to unveil takeover plans

Steel group Mittal will present its industrial plans regarding the takeover bid for Arcelor to the Belgian, Luxembourgian, French and Spanish governments this week. Meetings will then be set up in coming weeks with government representatives to discuss the Mittal takeover bid. Mittal needs to convince government shareholders about the positives of its bid.

Decline in smokers stabilises

New research has revealed that 24 percent of Belgians smoke cigarettes, 20 percent of whom smoke on a daily basis and 4 percent smoke occasionally. Consumer association OIVO-CRIOC also said that the number of smokers has stabilised after 24 percent of people were found to be smokers in 2004 and 33 percent in 2003.

Belgium ends Games without medals

Belgium ended the 2006 Winter Olympics without any medals. The best results achieved were semi-final places by short-tracker skater  Pieter Gysel (who was also disqualified twice), a 13th place in the 5,000m by skater Bart Veldkamp and a 9th place for figure skater Kevin Van der Perren. The results were, according to Belgian IOC chairman Jacques Rogge, "such as expected, but not as hoped".

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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