Belgium Press Review: 10 November 2008

10th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Highlights of the latest news in the Belgian press....

Drunk driver kills 2, and injures 3
Le Soir Online, Sunday 9 November 2008
(in French)
Five pedestrians were struck by a car around 02h50 in Sauvenière, in the commune of Gembloux. Two of them died. Three others had to be treated in hospital but were later able to go home. The driver, a 23 year-old student originally from Aische-en-Refail, was driving under the influence with 2,54 grams of alcohol per liter of blood. He was charged and released. He risks anything from 3 months to 5 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

The victims were 17 and 19 years old. The group were returning from a scout meeting.

15,000 jobs could be lost in banking sector
De Standaard /Vlaams-Brabant/Brussel ; Saturday 8 November 2008 ; p.23
The Christian labour union LBC-NVK fears a social blood bath in the banking sector. According to a 'cautious estimate' on the basis of information gained from the local trade union sections, more than 15,000 jobs will be terminated over the next three to four years.

The LBC is hoping that there will not be too many outright dismissals. Banks will be able to manage a significant number of job losses by not replacing older employees, as the banking sector has the oldest age pyramid of all company sectors in Belgium. During the next five years 1,000 employees will reach the retirement age of 55 years, which will cause a massive outflow of personnel. By not replacing retirees and those who leave voluntarily, the banks will be able to avoid dismissals as much as possible.

Government cuts severance packages of managers
De Tijd ; Saturday 8 November 2008 ; p.1
The federal government yesterday reached an agreement on a limit for severance pay or "golden parachute" for managers of listed companies. The measure will come into force next year and will apply to new as well as existing contracts.

The severance package for mandatories, i.e. executive directors, members of the executive board and persons involved in the daily management of listed enterprises, is limited to a maximum of 12 months.

Managers who have worked for the same company for more than 20 years, can expect a severance package of 15 months maximum. Management members with more than 25 years' service are limited to 18 months' remuneration on resignation.

Publishing of satirical photo montage forbidden
Het Laatste Nieuws /Oostkust ; Saturday 8 November 2008 ; p.4
Censorship is back. A judge ruled on Wednesday that all copies of the popular weekly magazine Humo be removed from the shelves due to a 'satirical porn montage' of the federal head of police, Ferdinand Koekelberg with his secretary Sylvie Ricour. A new summary proceedings judge has decided that nobody – whether in the press or on the Internet - may use or distribute the spicy Humo photo montage of the police chief and his secretary.


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