Belgian news in brief, 29 June 2006

29th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

Extended opening hours in the works

Extended opening hours in the works

It might soon be possible to buy takeaway Chinese food at midnight or buy a newspaper deep into the night under proposed legislation. Newspaper shops, video stores and shops at petrol stations might soon be unburdened from restricted opening and closing hours. Store owners could in future open 24 hours if they wish. The Parliament will soon vote on a proposal to allow more exceptions to current opening hours of 5am-9pm on Fridays and 5am-8pm on every other day.

Baby boom in Flanders

The birth rate in Flanders grew for the third consecutive year in 2005, family services unit Kind&Gezin said. About 65,000 births were recorded in Flanders last year, representing a 2 percent increase compared with 2004. It was also the highest birth rate since 1980. Women that put off starting a family until after their 30th birthday are now having their first-born and more young women aged 25-29 are also becoming pregnant.

Reduced sentence for nation's eldest thief

The Antwerp Court of Appeal has sentenced Belgium's eldest thief, 79-year-old Georges Pirard of Anderlecht, to a one-month jail term for stealing from a church donation box in Lommel. Pirard was sentenced to a six-month jail term in the trial hearing. On 10, 17 and 24 June 2005, Pirard stole a total of EUR 70 from the northern Limburg church. The appeals court took into account the defendant's age in reducing the sentence, but could not give a suspended sentence. Pirard has been caught on multiple occasions stealing from church donation boxes.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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