Belgian news in brief, 31 January 2006
Public buildings chief arrested
The chief of the federal government’s Public Buildings department, Hans Evenpoel, and another civil servant have been arrested on charges of corruption. Brussels justice officials have been investigating the case based on tip-offs since 2004, broadcaster VRT reported. Top public servants at the department are accused of using privileged information to help “friendly” contractors beat rival bidders for a government contract. In return, the contractors allegedly carried out renovations in the private homes of public servants on the tab of the Public Buildings department. Four contractors have also been detained.
Massive Flemish roadworks loom
Flanders will become a maze of road construction works in coming years as Public Works Minister Kris Peeters moves to improve 26 road junctions. In Antwerp alone, EUR 3 billion will be invested. Public authority Roads and Traffic has warned motorists to expect traffic jams during the construction works.
Contraception pill less popular
The use of the Pill among Belgian women fell from 69 percent in 1997 to 60 percent in 2004, the Academic Institute for Public Health said. Despite the Pill is still used by six out of 10 women, the IUD is rising in popularity. Nine percent of women used the IUD in 1990 compared with 13 percent in 2004. ‘Barrier methods’ such as condoms and diaphragms are also more popular, rising from 6 to 8 percent.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news