What is new on 1 October?
As usual all of us here in the flandersnews newsroom have taken a look at what changes at the beginning of this new month.
Quite a lot of things I can guarantee you!
Until now Belgian banks paid out loyalty premiums at the beginning of the new year. In future such payments will be paid out every three months. Last year Belgium's federal government reached a voluntary accord with the banks to speed up such payments. Savers will still have to keep their cash on their account for a year before they qualify for the payment.
The price of a temporary driving licence is going up from 9 euros to 20 euros. The new provisionary licence will be in the form of a bankcard. Municipalities can also charge an extra fee or surcharge.
Today is the start of the new academic year in Ghent and for the first time the university is being presided over by a woman rector. Anne De Paepe will take up the job for 4 years. Ms De Paepe is a doctor of medicine and biomedical sciences. She is 57 and worked as a lecturer in human and medical genetics.
The new fast track courts also become operational on 1 October. They will deal with pretty crime and punish suspects caught red handed or who have admitted their offences. Offences dealt with by fast track courts include theft, arms possession and taking part in a brawl. Eleven new fast track judges have been appointed. Fast track courts will operate in 8 of the country's 12 judicial districts.
Staring this month rules governing the take-off of helicopters become stricter in a bid to clamp down on noise pollution. Helicopters will no longer be allowed to land and take off outside airports at night. Helipads will have to be located further away from housing. Landings and take-offs will be limited to 4 times a month. If more frequent landings are required an application can be made to turn the helipad into a permanent heliport. 204 helicopters were registered in Belgium in 2013. The new rules do not apply to craft involved in search and rescue.
[Flandersnews.be / Expatica]