Belgian news in brief, 3 February 2006

3rd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

New integration laws approved

New integration laws approved

The Flemish government approved on Friday its new integration laws, which will make it more difficult for foreigners to immigrate to Flanders. The legislation is designed to ensure that every non-EU national that moves permanently to Flanders integrates into society. Integration courses are to become compulsory. The Flemish employment agency VDAB will help immigrants enter the workforce, requiring all newcomers to report to the agency on a regular basis.

Petrol thieves to escape prosecution

Neither police nor prosecution officials will bother trying to track down petrol thieves in future, Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx said. This is despite the fact between 4,000 and 5,000 motorists drive way from a petrol station without paying each year. Onkelinx said prosecution offices are not debt collection agencies for service stations. She also said the maximum three-month jail term is never imposed. If caught motorists often claim they did not intend to steal and are acquitted. Service station owners have criticised the Justice Ministry's stance.

Cash machines open to non-clients

Belgian banks are to start allowing access to their own cash machines to non-clients. A deal has been reached with Banksys, which manages the nation's network of cash machines. Banks such as KBC and CBC started the conversion on Thursday night. ING Belgium and Dexia will convert to the new system on Friday, while Fortis will follow suit later this month.

Dioxin damages for pig farmers
Tessenderlo Chemie promised the pig industry on Friday that it will compensate farmers for the current dioxin incident. A defect filter at Tessenderlo Chemie resulted in dioxins being added to animal fodder and the closure of hundreds of farms as Federal Food Agency officials investigate the extent of the problem. Tessenderlo Chemie has now promised it will face up to its responsibilities and compensate farmers via its insurance.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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