Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 19 October 2005

Internet banking to be expanded

Internet banking services for the public will be expanded next year. Electronic bills and personal documents such as wage slips will be sent via the internet, commercial broadcaster VTM reported on Wednesday. The four largest banks in Belgium, Dexia, Fortis, ING and KBC are working on a joint communication net. The number of Belgians who do their banking online is growing annually by 20 percent.

Man acquitted of sexually abusing baby

The appeals court in Brussels acquitted the 28-year-old F. D. on Wednesday for the alleged sexual abuse of his girlfriend’s eight-month-old baby daughter. The man was jailed in April for 10 years, but the appeals court overturned that ruling. A crèche employee saw the girl was bleeding when she changed the baby’s nappy and doctors later confirmed the girl’s vulva had been torn and her ribs were broken. The defendant’s lawyer said there was no medical expertise to confirm D.’s guilt, newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ reported.

Divorce procedures to be simplified

Justice Minister Lauurette Onkelinx plans to ease divorce procedures by merging current regulations into one procedure, various Francophone newspapers reported on Wednesday. The proposal also involves a change in divorce financial settlements. In future, payments will be determined by economic criteria, not by the transgression. Also, the possibility to appeal against divorce rulings laid down by a judge will be scrapped.

Triathlete seeks doping damages

Belgian triathlete Rutger Beke is suing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and two drug laboratories. Beke is seeking damages after his suspension for alleged EPO use was recently overturned. He is demanding EUR 185,000 in compensation.

Record lotto money up for grabs

A dizzying EUR 8 million will be up for grabs in Saturday’s lotto draw — a record amount, the National Lottery said. As no one claimed the Super Lotto EUR 7 million draw on Monday, the prize money will now be transferred to the weekend’s draw. Huge ticket sales are expected.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news