Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 11 August 2005

Inquiry into boy’s drowning death

The Brugge public prosecutor is investigating the drowning death of 12-year-old Paolo Guida, of Seraing, at the Middelkerke beach. The prosecutor wants to determine if the boy died due to negligence of beach rescuers on Tuesday. Witnesses claim that five boys, including the victim, went into the water at the guarded area of the beach. The Middelkerke Council claims, however, the boys went into the water outside the patrolled area.

Shortage of construction workers

The Flemish building industry has asked the government for more help to alleviate the shortage of trained builders. There are some 6,500 vacancies for bricklayers, carpenters and roadworkers. Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill the vacancies and have called on both the Federal and Flemish authorities to encourage more job seekers to train for jobs in the building industry.

Cold start to month of August

The first 10 days of August were the coldest since 1987. Up until now, August has been 3 degrees colder than average. And the weather is not about to improve. New forecasts indicate that temperatures will remain between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius for the coming few days. Rain is also forecast. The mercury might start to rise from Tuesday, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported.

15 Dutch opt to become Belgian
Fifteen Dutch people were among the 5,258 foreigners who became Belgian citizens in 2004. However, it is unclear why the Dutch applicants wanted a Belgian passport as both countries are in the European Union. EU citizens are supposed to have largely the same rights as locals when living in another state in the union. Skater Bart Veldkamp is the best-known Dutch person to be become a naturalised Belgian in recent years. When he could not get a place on the Dutch team, Veldkamp changed his nationality and took part in skating championships on behalf of Belgium.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news