Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 19 January 2006

Military plane in emergency landing

A Belgian air force training jet made an emergency landing at Melsbroek military airbase near Brussels on Thursday. The four pilots of the Falcon 5 managed to land the plane safely. The crew noticed a technical problem with the landing gear and issued an emergency alert. The emergency landing passed without incident.

Lottery unsure where charity goes

The National Lottery donates EUR 210 million to charity each year, but does not know what EUR 113 million of the funding is spent on. The lottery’s management has asked the charity organisations in vain to reveal what the funding is used for, spokeswoman Ann Publie said. Public Enterprises State Secretary Bruno Tuybens launched on Wednesday an “operation transparency” to determine where the lottery’s money goes.

Power bills might fall this year

Electricity bills for families and small businesses could stabilise or even fall this year. Two of the biggest costs, transmission and distribution are much cheaper in Flanders this year, financial newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported. Transmission costs — which account for 10 percent of the total power bill — will fall by 8 to 10 percent. Distribution costs — which make up 35 percent of bills — will fall by 10 percent. Production costs — which are unpredictable and are partly dependent on the price of oil — account for more than half of a household’s final bill.

Dutch cannabis growers flee to Belgium

Competition between cannabis cultivators in the Netherlands is prompting many to set up business in Belgium. The move is designed to ward of the threat of their cultivation being destroyed by rivals, Antwerp police said. Dutch suspects were linked to 43 cannabis plantations seized by Antwerp police last year. Dutch cannabis growers are also seeking refuge over the border in Hasselt and Tongeren, where all 50 plantations seized by police were linked back to the Netherlands last year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news