Belgian news in brief, 15 December 2005
EUR 18m loss on asylum shelters
The Belgian government is to sell two properties that it initially acquired to accommodate asylum seekers. However, the government will lose EUR 18.5 million in the deal. The properties Zon en Zee in Westende and Hengelhoef in Houthalen were bought in 1999 and 2000 respectively. However, the number of requests for asylum has fallen in recent years and legal battles around the use of the former recreation sites prompted the government’s sale.
A deafening Francorchamps ‘silence’
A silence of sorts from Wallonian ministers greeted the Wallonian Parliament on Wednesday as questions were posed about the financial scandal surrounding the Francorchamps Grand Prix. All ministers simply denied responsibility for the expensive contract signed with Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and pointed accusing fingers at other politicians. In October 2003, the race circuit’s promotion company, a government authority, signed the controversial contract with Ecclestone. It committed the government to paying EUR 14-17 million each year until 2010 to host the race.
Belgians most scared parents
Belgian parents appear to be considerably more anxious than the average European parent, a study by Duracell in nine European countries has indicated. The battery maker initially investigated the types of toys children aged 5-10 wanted for Christmas. But the survey also examined play habits and 28 percent of Belgian parents said they preferred their children to play inside, compared with 6 percent in the other European countries. As a reason, 77 percent cited the fear of danger of accidents and strangers.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news