Belgian news in brief, 24 August 2005
Electrabel board approves Suez takeover
The board of Belgian electricity company Electrabel has voted in favour of takeover bid by French utility group Suez. Of the 18 board members, 17 backed the takeover bid and one abstained, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported. Suez already owns 50.1 percent of Electrabel and nine board members are already appointed by Suez. Belgian municipalities still own a 5 percent stake in Electrabel. Flemish municipalities appear in favour of the deal, while French-speaking municipalities are opposed.
Organ donor campaign a success
A federal government campaign to attract new organ donors has met with overwhelming success. More than a 1,000 donors have registered in under two months, a rise of 3 percent, newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ reported. A shortage of donors prompted the government to start an organ donor campaign by distributing brochures at hospitals and doctors surgeries. Some 35,000 people are registered donors, while 190,000 people have signed a declaration objecting to organ donation after their death, often for religious reasons.
Record low number of deaths
A record low number of deaths were recorded in Belgium in July, funeral homes and crematoriums have said. The cooler weather is believed to have contributed to the reduced number of deaths. Moreover, life expectancy is also rising. If the trend continues, the yearly national death figure might fall under 100,000, an historic low, Flemish commercial broadcaster VTM reported.
Jewish schools object to sex education
Orthodox Jewish Schools in Antwerp are finding it difficult to meet Flemish government guidelines regarding religious education. The schools object in particular to sex education guidelines. One primary school, Bais Rachel School, has already lost State funding as a result. Five others are currently negotiating a compromise. The Flemish government requires children in primary education undergo sex education as part of social orientation, but the way in which the classes are to be given is in conflict with Orthodox Jewish beliefs, Flemish public broadcaster VRT reported.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news