The Belgian news in May 2006

2nd June 2006, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian news in May 2006

1 May 2006
Two-year car inspections come into force 
 
New legislation in which car road worthiness certificates are granted for two years comes into force. Motorists who bring a car older than four years to a testing garage for the first time will in future receive a certificate for two years. Previously, car road worthiness certificates were issued annually. However, only motorists with a vehicle that has been on the road for four years and with less than 100,000km on the clock can benefit from the new legislation.

2 May 2006
Flemish public back extra Sunday shopping 

In contrast to continued opposition from the retail sector, six out of 10 Flemish residents are in favour of increased Sunday trading. State Secretary Vincent Van Quickenborne said the survey results confirm that the public backs the federal government's plans to increase the annual number of Sunday trading days from three to nine. Up until now, Van Quickenborne said it had mostly been the opposition from the retail sector that had attracted media publicity.

4 May 2006
Hard working Belgians too costly, jobs moving to Asia 
 
The productivity of Belgian workers is high and the quality of their work is good, but high wage costs mean jobs are being lost to Asia, a new study reveals. The study indicates Belgium is facing mounting difficulties competing with the developing economies in Asia, such as China and India. Increasingly highly qualified staff and lower wages in these countries mean Belgian employees are unable to compete.

5 May 2006
4 hurt in Zaventem Airport blaze, long flight delays  
 

Plane safety checks encountered few delays

Fire destroys a hanger at Zaventem Airport overnight, leading to massive flight delays at the Brussels international airport the next day. Initially, all flights were cancelled, but flights were later resumed when it was confirmed the smoke from the fire was not toxic. The fire destroys hangar 40, a shed owned by Sabena Technics where airplanes undergo maintenance works.

5 May 2006
Brussels house prices rise by 53pc 

The Brussels housing market recorded a 53 percent rise in prices to a benchmark figure of EUR 350,000 last year as the number of family homes sold rose by 97 percent to 4,225. Real estate advice bureau Stadim said Brussels is by far the most expensive region in Belgium.

8 May 2006
Skinheads to face court over 'racist bashing' 

Three men are remanded in custody for the assault and battery of two men in a suspected racially-motivated crime. One of the victims, a black man from Paris, is left in a coma after the Saturday night attack in Brugge. The suspects are linked back to the skinhead café De Kastelein and authorities temporarily shut the bar down. The café is later allowed to reopen under tighter police supervision on 2 June.
 
9 May 2006
Minister urges action over prison capacity problems 
 
There are 9,695 people being detained in Belgian jails despite the fact there is capacity for just 8,311 prisoners, Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx admits. The Socialist PS minister tells Parliament that one-third of the detainees are being held on remand, while no places at a specialised institute are available for 714 inmates. Onkelinx reminded the parliament that a series of measures had already been implemented to resolve the overcrowding. She has also demanded an increase in the number of detainees under electronic supervision.

9 May 2006
Tervuren named best place to live  
 
Tervuren has been named the most pleasant Flemish municipality in which to live, while Antwerp was rated the worst. The research by the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, said the top three best municipalities were Ter

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