Changes in Belgium from 1 October
Starting from today, a couple of practicalities are set to change in Belgium.
Rounding of prices
From today, shopkeepers are allowed to round the total price of your purchase to 0 or 5 eurocents in order to eliminate the need for 1 and 2 eurocent coins.
However, this will only be the case when paying with cash.
If you decide to use your debit or credit card, the price will not be rounded.
Shopkeepers and retailers are not obliged to round their prices.
The ones who are taking part are obliged to display this visibly.
The end of Proton
Proton, the electronic purse on your bankcard that can be used for small purchases is set to disappear.
The number of terminals which people can use to load money onto their cards will be severely reduced starting from today.
On the 1 January, paying by Proton becomes impossible.
Whoever happens to have some money left in their electronic purse, can recover it via their bank after that cut-off date.
Jens Stoltenberg new NATO secretary general
Former Norwegian prime-minister Jens Stoltenberg (55) is taking over from the Dane Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO secretary general.
Mr Rasmussen led the alliance for five years and two months.
Jens Stoltenberg was prime minister of Norway from 2000 to 2001 and 2005 to 2013.
His coalition lost the elections in September 2013.
Smoke detectors in student accommodation
All student accommodation, privately and publicly let, will have to be equipped with smoke detectors.
The detectors need to be present in both bedrooms and shared areas like kitchens and living rooms.
Social security contribution for domestic workers
Every Belgian employing household help is now considered to be an employer.
This means that, if you employ domestic personnel such as cleaners and gardeners, you will have to make the relevant social security contributions.
This rule does not apply to staff hired via the so-called “service vouchers” (dienstencheques) or people who are not part of the family contributing to the household in a “non-manual” way, such as babysitters, friends keeping the elderly company or doing the weekly shop.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica