Belgian news in brief, 6 October 2005
Fog causes accidents, flight delays
Thick fog led to a series of roads accidents and delays during the morning rush-hour on Thursday. A large number of trucks were involved in the collisions. Various injuries were reported, while one person was killed and another seriously injured in a collision in Dilsen-Stokkem, in Limburg. The thick fog also led to delays for passengers at Zaventem Airport in Brussels, newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ reported.
Verwilghen misses out on human rights post
Economy Minister Marc Verwilghen will remain a federal minister after missing out on the post of human rights commissioner at the Council of Europe. In the second round of voting on Wednesday, Verwilghen won just 33 votes, having attracted 65 votes in the initial poll. Swede Thomas Hammarberg received 103 votes to be elected the new commissioner. He topped Pole Marek Nowicki, who gained 93 votes on Wednesday compared with his initial 89. It is believed that the Social Democrats and Liberals who initially voted for Verwilghen, opted to back Hammarberg on Wednesday, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
Rising number of heating oil thefts
The high price of oil has sparked a higher number of heating oil thefts. In a new phenomenon, thieves are emptying heating oil tanks using tankers. The culprits operated by day and singled out victims who had just bought their winter supply, news service Skynet reported. Federal police have registered a 100 such thefts recently. Above-ground tanks along the side of a street are the most vulnerable. Police are not yet certain if the thefts are the work of an organised gang.
Antwerp guards still on strike
Guards at the Antwerp prison have opted to extend their strike for an unspecified time frame in protest against chronic staff shortages. A protest was also held in Brussels on Wednesday. Guards from other jails will also stage protests in coming days in a show of solidarity with Antwerp staff. Unions are hoping to place Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx under extra pressure.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news