16 January 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian government will gather for a two-day brainstorming session this weekend in a bid to discuss ways of creating jobs and bucking up the country’s economy.
The meeting will take place at the Petit Leez chateau, near to the Walloon town of Gembloux.
One of the thorniest issues up for discussion will be whether or not to allow the international courier firm DHL to expand its operations at Zaventem airport, north-east of Brussels.
DHL has promised to create thousands of new jobs if its plans are approved. But local residents are worried that more DHL planes flying in and out of Zaventem will mean more aircraft noise, especially at night.
Other subjects up for discussion include Labour minister Frank Vandenbroucke’s plan to crack down on people who abuse the unemployment benefit system. Vandenbrouke wants to be able to cut benefits for people who persistently refuse to take up offers of work.
The meeting is also set to consider plans for allowing shops in Belgium to open on Sundays.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news