The Belgian news in October 2006

2nd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian news in October 2006

 

More child-care needed

27 October 2006

Employers and trade unions have joined forces to demand an additional 15,000 child care places by 2009, to meet growing demand. A consortium of 22 organisations, which also include parents'  associations, say that 5,000 extra places promised by the Flemish government are not nearly enough.


Double transport trouble isolates Brussels

25 October 2006

Train controllers went on strike on Wednesday morning causing major delays. Labour unions are in discussions with the management of the Belgian railway company NMBS/ SNCB tackling the heart of the issue; lack of resources and staff. Adding to these railway delays, the Brussels ring-road has been closed due to unfinished road-works causing major traffic jams.

Calls for more protection for shopkeepers

27 October 2006

Following the brutal murder of a jeweller in Flanders, UNIZO, the organisation for the self-employed and SMEs, says the incident once again shows that jewellers should have the right to adequately defend themselves, with firearms if necessary. Currently, under Belgian law, someone is only allowed to respond to a violent attack with violence if the attack is directed at the person,not property.

Brussels' residents may face higher utility bill

27 October 2006

According to a new study, many consumers in Brussels and Wallonia may end up facing higher electricity bills from next January under de-regulation of the Belgian energy market. From January 2007, consumers will have the chance to select their electricity provider from several companies, but those who choose not to do so will automatically get their supply from the desigated regional provider.

Fears of religious conflict

26 October 2006

More then six citizens in 10 fear an increase in religious tensions in Belgium according to a survey by Belgian newspaper Le Soir. A "pessimistic" attitude in contrast with the overall 'moderate attitude' of Belgians towards religions, notes the evening paper. The majority of interviewees supported a 'respectful criticism' of religions, meaning that criticism can be expressed so long as personal religious beliefs are respected. However, 23 percent are opposed to all critics of religion, half as much as the French notes Le Soir, while 16 percent assume a highly critical standpoint, three times more than in France.

Tiger-kidnappers get unusually long sentences

25 October 2006

Belgium's infamous trio, who carried out tiger-kidnappings in 2004 in Jumet and Farciennes, were given unusually high sentences by Belgian standards after a hearing in Hainaut's court of justice on Tuesday. Ekrem Serdar and Dogan were both sentenced to 20 years while Hasan Sahin will serve 15 years.

French-speakers in Flanders given incentive to speak Flemish

27 October 2006

People in Flanders are to be given 'loyalty' cards for demonstrating their willingness to speak Flemish. Civic bosses in Flemish Brabant want to increase the number of French-speaking people living in the area speaking Flemish. Retailers are being asked to speak only in Flemish to people who come into their shops. Shoppers will be issued with a 'loyalty' card and those who make an effort to cooperate will be given points which will make the holders eligible to enter a draw with a weekend away as the first prize.

Expatriate support service CHS moves house

25 October 2006

The Community Help Service (CHS) is now based at 33 - 39 Boulevard de la Cambre, Brussels.CHS was founded over 35 years ago and offers confidential support to the English-speaking community in Belgium of any nationality. For more information visit www.chsbelgium.org

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