The Belgian news in 2005

23rd December 2005, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian newsin 2005 - Part I

JANUARY

3 January 2005
Report slams Belgian police chief 
 
Belgium's most senior police chief has failed in his role to develop a co-ordinated national police service, according to a highly critical internal report. The report says Commissioner General Herman Fransen has failed to impose his will on the country's different police services. Local police were not properly integrated with the federal force, the study says, adding that Fransen behaved more like a co-ordinator than a chief police officer. 
 
11 January 2005
Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte dies

Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, the eldest sister of Belgian King Albert II, dies at the Fischbach Castle in Luxemburg. She was aged 77 and had been suffering from cancer. Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte was born in 1927 and married the hereditary Grand Duke Prince Jean of Luxembourg in 1953 and the couple had five children, three boys and two girls.

10 January 2005
Senior Belgian cardinal dies 

Belgian cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, a close ally to Pope John Paul II, dies at the age of 76. The Vatican says he died at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome. Schotte, from Brugge, became a cardinal in 1994 and had served as a secretary general of the synod of bishops ever since.

12 January 2005
King hails Flemish boss for braving racist death threats 
 

Naima Amzil

Belgian King Albert II voices support for Flemish businessman Rik Remmery after he receives death threats for letting employees Naima Amzil wear a Muslim headscarf. Remmery and Amzil were invited to Albert's palace to discuss the harassment which started in November 2004. A group calling itself New Free Flanders has sent death threat letters to Remmery demanding he sacks Amzil. Remmery has refused to give in to the extremists. The case remains unsolved.

14 January 2005
Record proceeds in Tsunami benefit show

After the special benefit show Tsunami 12-12 is broadcast live on television, the total amount of donations collected thus far comes to a record EUR 38 million. The aid will be directed towards the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Prior to the show starting, some EUR 20 million had already been donated. The show was staged by the Belgian Consortium for Emergency Aid Situations. It consists of five charity groups.

18 January 2005
Unions, employers reach social accord

Unions and employers reach agreement on a national social accord outlining workplace conditions for 2.5 million workers in the private sector. The agreement is valid until the end of 2006. It stipulates a maximum wage rise of 4.5 percent over two years, a doubling in the amount of allowed overtime to 130 hours per year, tax cuts on shift work and greater payout rights for workers at bankrupted firms.

24 January 2005
No referendum over EU constitution

Belgium will not stage a referendum over the EU draft constitution, following the withdrawal of support for the proposal from the Socialist Spirit party. It means there is no parliamentary majority in

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