Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 30 November 2005

Elia stands firm on weather reasoning

Electricity network administrator Elia remains defiant that exceptional weather conditions caused the blackouts in Flanders on Saturday. The company’s statement came after weather bureau KMI said on Wednesday the snowfalls of 25 and 26 November were not exceptional. Economy Minister Marc Verwilghen has already asked Elia to explain how the blackouts occurred.
Group rape, fights at student party

A student Sinterklaas party in Hoei has ended in a group rape and 15 violent scuffles. Police eventually intervened to end the disturbances and a 19-year-old student lodged a report claiming she was sexually abused by various boys. The fights took place on the market square in Hoei and in a nearby café. A 16-year-old was found carrying a 20cm knife and an arrested 21-year-old student continued to rebel in a police car, damaging a window. The Red Cross assisted 25 people and various students were taken to hospital with injuries.

Fewer winter holidays being booked

Holiday bookings for the coming winter period are lower than last year, the association of tour operators ABTO said on Wednesday. The number of bookings in September and October was 7.2 percent lower than the same period in 2004. Last winter was a bumper year for the tourism sector. The decline this year is primarily noticeable in sun and ski holidays.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news