Belgian news in brief, 28 November 2005
Sale of F-16s comes under fire
The Belgian government plans to sell surplus F-16 jets via the US to Pakistan and by calling the US in as a middleman, Belgium will sail around its restrictive weapons export law, the peace activist group Forum voor Vredesactie has claimed. The Christian Democrat CD&V, New Flemish Alliance NV-A and green Groen! are concerned by the claims, along with government coalition parties SP.A and Spirit. The forum said selling jet fighters to Pakistan — which is locked in a nuclear stand-off with Pakistan — is “totally irresponsible”. However, Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht said Belgium has only held exploratory talks with the US over the sale of its jets.
10th ‘Bob’ campaign this Christmas
With the festive season approaching, the traditional ‘Bob’ drink driving campaign will be launched again. It will be the 10th year in succession the campaign will be carried out and will accompany intensified drink driving tests. The same as last year, police aim to carry out 100,000 random breath tests between 1 December and 15 January. Some 97 percent of the Belgian population is aware of Bob and that his central message is to not drink and drive.
Traffic, transport problems from snow
Motorists encountered problems across a large part of Belgium on Saturday as the nation was greeted with the first snows of the winter. Besides several accidents, public transport was also disrupted on Saturday morning. Power cuts were also reported across Flanders. Zaventem Airport was hit by delays due to reduced visibility.
Minor flooding in Westhoek
The heavy rain reported on Sunday night led to minor flooding in the Westhoek region of Flanders. Fire brigades in Poperinge and Ieper were primarily kept busy taking preventative flood measures, but flooding was reported in two houses. The situation overnight was initially described as critical, but it improved after the rain stopped at 3am.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news