What's in the papers, 27 June 2005

27th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

Various newspapers run reports on the latest political survey, but traffic deaths, broadcast fines and summer heat also made headlines.

Various newspapers run reports on the latest political survey, but traffic deaths, broadcast fines and summer heat also made headlines.

Flemish PM most popular politician

Christian Democrat CD&V Flemish Prime Minister Yves Leterme is Belgium's most popular politician, followed by Socialist SP.A deputy leader Johan Vande Lanotte, a survey by 'La Libre' and 'Het Laatste Nieuws' has revealed. Federal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt was a disappointing third.

In Walloon, the Socialist SP remains the largest party, with 36.9 percent support. It is followed by Reform Movement MR with 23.6 percent, while the Democrat Humanist CDH has stranded with 19.6 percent. The French-language greens Ecolo have 6.8 percent.

The extreme-right party Front National is rising in popularity in the French-speaking part of Belgium, rising from 5.6 percent support at the election last year to 8 percent now. 

The political scene in Flanders is also stable, with CD&V on top with 26.7 percent support, a small rise compared with March. The Flemish Interest is also strengthening and has 25.7 percent support, followed by the Socialist SP.A with 21.4 percent.

The Liberal VLD continues its downward trend, falling to 17.1 percent compared with 19 percent support in the March survey.

15 people killed in weekend accidents

A total of 15 people were killed in traffic accidents over the weekend, while 16 seriously injured victims were admitted to hospital, some of whom are in a critical condition, 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported. The worst accident took place on Saturday night when four Uzbek youths were killed when their vehicle smashed against a tree. A 5th seriously injured passenger was taken to hospital. Traffic expert and Socialist SP.A MP Flor Koninckx said the warm weather over the weekend could have contributed to the fatalities. The heat can lead to result in reduced driver concentration.

Foreign speedsters go unpunished

Foreign motorists caught speeding in Belgium often miss out on paying a fine. Brugge prosecutor Jean-Marie Berkvens said foreign governments do not provide the details of drivers caught driving too fast by Belgian speed cameras. It means thousands of Dutch, French, German and Luxembourgian drivers caught on camera for speeding in Belgium escape unscathed, 'Het Laatste Nieuws' reported.

Flemish broadcasters fined

Flemish public broadcasters VRT, VTM and VT4 have been ordered to pay fines of EUR 5,000 to EUR 10,000 for breaching of advertising regulations. The Flemish Media Commissionership assessed the broadcasters on 2 February between 7.30pm and 10.30pm. It came to the conclusion all three broadcasters were in breach of guidelines, 'De Standaard' reported.

Hot summer forecast

After last week's heatwave, reports emerged that the summer of 2005 might be hotter than the hot summer of 2003, which directly led to the deaths of 1,250 people in Belgium. The long-term weather forecast of the Kiev meteorology bureau indicates the hottest period will be mid-July to mid-August as Western Europe records temperatures of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius higher than normal, 'Het Laatste Nieuws' reported.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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