The Belgian news in 2005 - Part II
The Belgian newsin 2005 - Part II
The heaviest rainfall in seven years results in more than 4,000 calls for assistance placed with emergency services in Flanders. The storm broke on 4 July and raged for much of the night and throughout the next day. The West Flanders region was hardest hit. Fire fighters were called in to pump cellars dry, clear flooded streets and evacuate residents. The military was also deployed as provincial alarm plan moved into phase three.
7 July 2005
MPs approve disaster fund legislation
Parliament approves legislation granting insurance against natural disasters. It means that victims of natural disasters — such as an earthquake, dike collapse or flood — will be obligatorily covered under normal fire insurance. It means normal householders will have the same coverage as those who live in risk areas — and were therefore already obligated to have natural disaster insurance.
However, the flooding victims in West Flanders are not yet covered, but may lodge a request for compensation with the federal government's disaster fund. Interior Minister Patrick Dewael said the flooding in Flanders will probably officially qualify as a natural disaster, opening up the possibility of federal compensation.
Despite the celebrations, new state reform talks are planned in 2007
Mass crowds gather in Brussels as Belgium celebrates Independence Day with church services, a military parade and street parties. Brussels police commissioner Christian de Coninck said about 750,000 people visited Brussels, more than previous years. This year's national day holiday held extra significance as Belgium celebrated 175 years of independence and 25 years of federalism.
- See also our feature: Flying the Belgian flag
30 July 2005
Remembering the Ghislenghien disaster
14 people or companies have been charged over the tragic explosion