Belgian news in brief, 12 July 2006

12th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

Flemish holiday popular in Brussels

Flemish holiday popular in Brussels

Some 12,000 people crowded in and around the Grote Markt in Brussels on Tuesday night for the climactic end to celebrations for the Flemish Community Holiday. There were diverse activities in the city centre throughout the day, such as street theatre and performances. A host of other activities were staged in other Flemish cities.

Record Tax-on-Web returns expected

Finance Minister Didier Reynders expects that more than 575,000 taxpayers will submit their tax returns via Tax-on-Web this year. Up until now, 420,000 people have lodged their tax forms electronically. The deadline for the public to lodge their tax forms is 19 July. Reynders expects the record of 570,000 will be topped this year. He said many taxpayers lodge their forms at the last moment and accountants and notaries have until 31 October to lodge their forms.

Fire fears due to dry weather

The dry weather that has been recorded in Belgium since June is expected to continue until the end of next week. The present dry weather is demanding special attention to sensitive areas such as heath and forest, where fire can break out. Since the start of June, the areas of Flemish and Wallonian Brabant, Henegouwen, Limburg, the Hoge Venen and the centre of the Ardennes have had a rainfall shortage of 70 to 90 percent. In the provinces of West and East Flanders and Antwerp, the shortfall is between 55 and 70 percent.

Research could make men superfluous

The VUB in Brussels has started a study in which academics might soon be able to artificially create sperm cells. The scientists are trying to develop sperm cells from the stem cells found in human embryos. German researchers have previously done the same with mice. If academics can produce sperm cells, it could be said that the man will no longer be necessary for reproduction. But the researchers don't want get carried away. Instead, they hope the procedure will help infertile couples to have children.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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