Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 14 September 2005

Belgium’s poor solar record

Belgium has come bottom of the list in a ranking of 16 European countries’ use of solar energy. Last year, there were just 817 solar panels in the country, amounting to just 0.5 squared metres of panels per 1,000 inhabitants. That compared to its neighbour Luxembourg, which topped the table, with 387 squared metres per resident.

Millions of francs still out there

There is an estimated EUR 57.1 million old Belgian francs which have not been handed in to the National Bank of Belgium, reported the news agency Belga on Wednesday. Since 2003, the number of BEF 10,000 notes still in the homes of residents has dropped by 22 percent to 1.4 percent of the total of the notes in circulation before the changeover to the euro.

More funding for budding athletes

A total of 45 professional sportsmen and women are to be funded by the state in francophone Belgium, reported newsagency Belga. Walloon sports minister Claude Eerdekens said 18 were currently sponsored, but that would increase to 45 by 2006 and include 20 contracts for under 26s trying to make a career out of sport.

Extra scanners promised

Health minister Rudy Demotte is to give doctors more MRT (Magnetic Resonance Tomography) scanners, although he hasn’t specified how many. The promise was made in an open letter to doctors, which will be published on Thursday in the medical journal Le Generaliste. He has also pledged to pay for new software to help doctors compare the prices of medicines.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news