The Belgian news in September 2006

6th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian news in September 2006

1 September 2006
Alarm over ban on French in schoolyard

The decision by Merchtem to only allow Dutch to be spoken in school playgrounds has sparked an angry response from Francophone Belgium. Newspaper 'Le Soir' ran a front page headline on Thursday saying: "Is Flanders afraid of French?" The Brussels newspaper said "our language is considered a threat" and linked the decision to a recent comment from Flemish Premier Yves Leterme, who said French-speakers were intellectually incapable of learning Dutch.

5 September 2006
Births increase for 3rd successive year

The birth rate in Belgium rose in 2005, the third year in succession, the statistics office of the Economic Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday.There were 117,799 children born in Belgium last year, compared with 115,618 in 2004 and 112,149 in 2003. The total of 111,225 births in 2002 was the lowest recorded this century.

8 September 2006
Major faces court over soldiers' deaths

Brussels Court issued a summons on Thursday for Rwandan army major Bernard Ntuyahaga to appear in court over the death of 10 Belgian peacekeeping troops in 1994.The court ruled that federal prosecutor Philippe Meire brought forward better arguments to bring Ntuyahaga before a jury then the defence did to prevent it.Ntuyahaga will now be called to appear in Brussels Court in 2007 to answer allegations about his role in the death of the Belgian paratroopers.

11 September 2006
Far-right suspects 'planned chaos, political murders'

A total of 12 suspects are still being remanded in custody in a large-scale police investigation into planned attacks from the extreme-right in Belgium. 
Ten of the initial 17 suspects were refused bail on Friday and police arrested another two suspects on Friday, both of whom were remanded in custody on Saturday.The suspects were arrested on allegations they formed a neo-Nazi group which was planning to carry out violent attacks in Belgium to destabilise the nation.

12 September 2006
Summer heat caused 940 extra deaths

The three heatwaves in July led to 739 more deaths than normal, Health Minister Rudy Demotte reported  The Socialist PS minister also said that in total, 940 extra deaths were recorded during the 2006 summer. Most of the premature deaths involved people aged 65 or older, especially those above the age of 85, news service VRT reported.

15 September 2006
Five Islamists jailed for up to eight years

The Brussels court of appeal on Friday handed down sentences of between 40 months and eight years jail on members of the Moroccan Islamic group GICM for belonging to a terrorist group.Four of the group had been trained in camps in Afghanistan and were given sentences of five, seven (twice) and eight years. They are expected to appeal again and face a new hearing, probably at the end of the year. The fifth man, whose role was limited, was given 40 months.

19 September 2006
Belgium 'secretly' had Turk militant arrested in Holland

Newspapers claimed that the arrest of a Turkish militant in the Netherlands was secretly organised by the Belgian government with the aim to have him extradited to Turkey.The official version of events state that Bakar Kimyongur — a militant with the far-left Turkish group DHKP-C — was arrested by chance while in the Netherlands. But Francophone newspapers reported that the official version of events was not valid and underpinned their claims with a report from a meeting held two days before Kimyongur was arrested.

20 September 2006
Belgian road safety below EU average

There were 112 traffic fatalities per 1 million residents in Belgium in 2004, earning the nation an equal 10th ranking with Slovakia in the 25-member EU. This compared to high-ranking nations the Ne

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