Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 13 January 2006

Bulging Belgians bursting out of bras

Bra-makers say Flemish busts are getting bigger, with the average cup size for Flemish women rising from 75B to 75C. Two reasons are given for the more ample bosom. The first is cosmetic surgery, with 5 percent of young Flemish ladies going under the knife. The second reason is that Flanders has not escaped Western obesity trends: as they get fatter, breast sizes rise along with the rest of the body.

‘Dead Serious’ to showcase at Brussels festival

New York filmmaker Michael J. Hein will showcase ‘Dead Serious’ this Friday at the Brussels International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, one of the oldest such fests in Europe. The movie, which Hein produced and co-wrote with director Joe Sullivan, is currently seeking distribution. It set in a New York City gay bar that is taken over by a puritanical televangelist and his group of right-wing terrorists. The place is also inhabited by vampires, and a young couple (Michael Weingartner and Sleepaway Camp’s Felissa Rose) become caught up in the ensuing mayhem. The site includes a photo gallery, cast/crew info and more, with a trailer coming soon.

Verhofstadt calls for Euro-zone tax policies

The Euro-zone will need “more convergence in tax policies,” Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has said. Countries with high taxes like Belgium and France have pleaded with other members of the 12-nation common currency area to harmonise tax policies to avoid losing companies to countries like Ireland with low taxes. But according to EU treaty rules, each government can set its own tax policy, and Ireland, the United Kingdom and the new Eastern European members have blocked any attempt to create a common tax system. Speaking to CNBC, Verhofstadt also said he has downgraded his 2004 election promise to create 200,000 jobs to around 125,000. The European Commission had said it doubted 200,000 was possible.

Belpex granted licence for power exchange

The Belgian government has awarded a licence to the Belpex consortium for the operation of a power exchange. The exchange, headquartered in Brussels, will be used to trade electricity, and aims to integrate the wholesale electricity markets of the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Belpex comprises gird operator Elia – with a 60 percent shareholding – as well as APX, Powernext, TenneT and RTE, each with a 10 percent stake.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news