Schools need more cash to pay energy bills

16th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Belgian schools are requesting the government pay them EUR 10 per student to help compensate them for higher energy bills.

16 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Belgian schools are requesting the government pay them EUR 10 per student to help compensate them for higher energy bills.

Schools sent their request in a letter to federal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and Finance Minister Didier Reynders, plus also Flemish Premier Yves Leterme and Education Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.

A school director in Hasselt, Guido Breban, warned that schools might have to close if no extra funding is allocated, newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Wednesday.

"We can only hope that it won't be a severe winter," Breban said.

Catholic education official Mieke van Hecke said the EUR 10 per student is only a proposal to soften the high energy bill of schools.

"For all networks, that comes to EUR 16.5 million for Flanders and EUR 12.5 million for Wallonia," Van Hecke said.

"The subsidy is very much needed. Currently there is pressure on operating means and the rise in energy bills is coming at the expense of other initiatives to improve education."

Admitting the extra funds that had already been allocated were insufficient, Minister Vandenbroucke said he will discuss the schools' request with other Flemish Cabinet ministers on Friday.

Flemish schools will also receive a brochure containing tips on energy efficiency. EUR 10 million has been allocated to help make school buildings more energy efficient.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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