Belgian news in brief, 27 May 2008

27th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Read on for the latest news roundup in Belgium on increasing divorce cases and rewards handed out to people who tell on movie pirates.

27 May 2008

New divorce legislation sees divorce cases doubling
From enquiries at the courts of Hasselt, Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels it seems that the number of divorces has doubled within the past nine months.

The four courts attribute the high increase to the new divorce law that makes it easier for couples to divorce than before.

Anyone who had wanted a divorce before September 2007 had to prove that the partner had done wrong. This led to a long procedure in which adultery or violence had to be proved.

The new divorce law, however, allows divorce to take place if couples can prove they have been living at different addresses for at least one year.

Couples who both file for divorce need only to show different domiciles for six months in order to have the marital contracts annulled.

Kinepolis rewards people who tell on movie pirates
The cinema group Kinepolis and the Belgian Anti-piracy Federation (BAF) want to actively combat the illegal recordings of movies in their cinemas.

In the trailer shown in the cinemas, the public is encouraged to report all illegal recordings by using an SMS number. An anti-piracy officer has also been appointed at each Kinepolis outlet.

Sender of the SMS will be rewarded with a gift parcel of five 5 DVDs if the tip-off is accurate.

Camcording in cinemas is one form of movie pirating which was previously rampant in the United States.

But since the premières of movies are increasingly being shown in Belgian and European cinemas, more people are turning to movie pirating.

The recorded pirate version is quite often available on the Internet within hours after the premiere.

PM rejects Flemish strategy to put splitting of BHV through parliament
In addition to the ultimatum of the liberals to have a socio-economic programme ready by 15 July, PS chairman Di Rupo is also insisting that a social programme be on the table by that date, otherwise the participation of his party with government will be at stake.

The chairman further threatened that if Flanders is taking the step towards autonomy, his party will do all it can to work towards the unification of Brussels and Wallonia.

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme (CD&V) rejects the Flemish strategy to unilaterally enforce the splitting of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde by using its majority in parliament.

“All language groups need to understand that a negotiated agreement has to be reached”, he said.

Control of Fluxys last hurdle for Eni
The Italian petroleum group Eni is negotiating till Thursday with the French energy group Suez on selling the Suez majority rights of 57.3 percent in the Belgian gas distributor Distrigas.

Eni and Suez must still consider the Belgian municipalities.

The Belgian municipalities have a 31.3 percent interest in Distrigas via the holding Publigas and a pre-emptive right at which they may speed up the deal between both groups.

The municipalities are threatening to use this right to force a breakthrough in the Fluxys dossier. Publigas has been trying for years to obtain the majority interest in the gas network controller Fluxys, but Suez has opposed to that all the way.

[Flanders Today / Expatica]

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