Belgian Presse Review 19 November 2008

19th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Highlights of the latest news in the Belgian press....

The dustbin goes on a diet to reduce waste
Le Soir Online Wednesday 19 November 2008
(in French)
Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo), Brussels Minister for the Environment, announced that 84 different Brussels organisations and associations will participate from 22 November in “Reduce waste week”.

The announcement is linked to the exhibition “C'est nos déchets (It’s our waste)” at Tour & Taxis. “This exhibition explores the origins of our waste and the reasons why, in Brussels just as elsewhere, it never ceases to increase.”

One of its aims is to reduce by 50 kg per person the amount of waste produced per annum and to have 50 kg more recycled.  In Brussels each inhabitant produces 500 kilos of rubbish every year. “The challenge might appear unrealistic for a little region like Brussels but we are not alone and I am delighted to launch this special week which I hope will take on even greater importance in years to come.”

This week a European initiative was launched within the framework “Association for cities and regions for Recycling” which brings together 80 towns and regions in the Union.

New beer giant ABInBev born
De Tijd ; Wednesday 19 November 2008 ; p.4
The Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev concluded the takeover of its American competitor Anheuser-Busch yesterday. The deal, which had received the approval of both AB and InBev shareholders, was also approved by competition authorities in the US, China and the UK. The new group is called Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev).
The merger company will employ 120,000 people and, according to Britto, it will “belong to the world's five biggest consumer product companies”. The turnover for 2007 was EUR 26.4 billion. Louvain, the home base for InBev, will become the global headquarters. St. Louis in America will remain the North American headquarters.

Fortis: a battle has been won, but not yet the war

De Tijd ; Wednesday 19 November 2008 ; p.3
The Brussels mercantile judge’s verdict that the selling of Fortis Bank Belgium and Fortis Insurance Belgium was legally valid has not completely paved the way to the closure of the deal.

Modrikamen, the advocate of a number of shareholders, has appealed the verdict. And next week the Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam will give judgement in a case instituted by the Dutch Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB) (Association of Shareholders), who also demanded that the sale be presented to the shareholders for approval

Smoking ban for cafés blocked due to political stratagems
Het Nieuwsblad /Leuven-Hageland ; Wednesday 19 November 2008 ; p.2
Plans also introduce a complete smoking ban in Belgian cafés and bars have been blocked. A few months ago it still seemed as if such a ban would be supported by a large majority in parliament. CD&V and N-VA compiled a draft bill which enjoyed overall consensus and would have introduced the smoking ban in 2010. Only MR and Lijst Dedecker opposed it. However, since the ending of the cartel between N-VA and CD&V, which resulted in N-VA becoming an opposition party, even the CD&V sidelined the proposal.

Recently more countries have introduced a smoking ban for cafés, for example the Netherlands last summer. Such a general smoking ban would negate the need for the discussions regarding the current Belgian regulation. It is becoming more and more uncertain in what kind of Belgian establishments smoking is allowed.

Sources; Le Soir Online,

(expatica 2008)


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