Home News Belgian news in brief, 11 January 2006

Belgian news in brief, 11 January 2006

Published on 11/01/2006

Bumper year for Belgian rail

Belgian rail operator SNCB transported more than 172 million people in 2005, a 4.2 percent rise on 2004 and a 30 percent rise on 1997. The success has partly been explained by the free travel given to Belgian federal civil servants since 2004, and by people trying to avoid major roadworks on the E411 or Antwerp ring. More attractive fares and better punctuality have also been credited for the rise in customers.

Exorcist jailed for five years

A self-appointed exorcist has been jailed for five years after his patient died of water-poisoning. Abdeslam Bouzid was accused of causing the death of a young woman who followed his advice to drink excess quantities of water while listening to verses from the Koran. The young woman’s had a cardiac arrest after drinking so much liquid and never regained consciousness.

Junior doctors claim over-work

Junior doctors have complained they are being exploited through excessive working hours. Some doctors say they have to work day and night shifts back-to-back, which can lead to 36 hour shifts with no sleep. They say patients could be at risk. Opposition politicians have demanded that Health Minister Rudy Demotte take action but he denied yesterday that any formal complaints had been received.

[Copyright Expatica 2006]

Subject: Belgian news