Belgian news in brief, 12 August 2005

12th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

Oil price costs Belgium EUR 3 billion

Oil price costs Belgium EUR 3 billion

The current high price of oil will cost Belgium EUR 3 billion this year or 1 percent economic growth. That money has completely disappeared from the domestic economy to the oil-exporting nations. ING economist Ivan van de Cloot said an oil price of USD 60 dollar costs consumers an extra EUR 170 for heating and energy bills and EUR 100 more for fuel costs. In total, it means consumers have EUR 3 billion less in spending money, newspaper 'Het Gazet van Antwerpen' reported.

Niger humanitarian relief aid departs

The Belgian department of Doctors without Borders sent a cargo plane with humanitarian aid to Niger from the airport of Oostende on Friday. The United nations has warned some 32,000 children are faced with starvation. The plane is carrying 37 ton of famine relief aid, mainly dry bread, rusks and milk, Flemish broadcaster VRT reported. The Belgian government is also donating 10 army lorries to Unicef to help distribute humanitarian aid in the West African country.

Diesel excise tax to be reduced

The excise tax on diesel will be lowered by 0.0021 euro cents per litre on Saturday after federal government approval on Thursday, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported. The government decided at the end of last year to reduce excuse taxes on diesel and petrol if the price rose above EUR 1.10 and EUR 1.50 per litre respectively. The government wants to put a brake on rising fuel costs.

Beer prices to rise in September

The two most important Belgian beer companies, Interbrew en Alken-Maes, will increase the price of beer mid-September. It means that café visitors will be paying five euro cents extra for a glass of beer. Interbrew — which makes Stella Artois, Jupiler, Hoegaarden and Belle-Vue — and Alken-Maas will raise prices by 3 to 3.6 percent, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Friday. Interbrew will introduce the price rises for a crater of beer from 15 September, while Alken-Maas will do so on 1 September. The prices rises are due to inflation and higher energy and wage costs. It is expected that cafés will raise prices by five cents.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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