Belgian news in brief, 27 June 2006

27th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

Cool reaction to tighter parole laws

Cool reaction to tighter parole laws

Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx has reacted negatively to a proposal from Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to tighten parole regulations. Verhofstadt said serious offenders should only be paroled after serving two-thirds of their jail term rather than a third. His comment — which came after the bashing death of a man on an Antwerp bus — was welcomed across the political spectrum. But Onkelinx said the judicial reforms introduced in the past two years need to take effect before further reforms are imposed.

Gas leak delays trains

A gas leak in Duffel delayed train traffic between Brussels and Antwerp on Tuesday morning. A gas pipe was ruptured during excavation works and firefighters hosed water onto the gas cloud to stop it from spreading. No houses or businesses were located in the vicinity, so no evacuations were carried out. Trains between Brussels and Antwerp were diverted via a freight rail line and were encountering a 15 minute delay. The gas leak was later sealed.

Belgians join hunger strike protest

About 10 Belgian nationals in various cities have decided to start a hunger strike before the end of this week to support the ongoing protests of illegal immigrants. The hunger strikers are primarily members of neighbourhood committees that are backing the church sit-in protests for a more humane asylum policy. The Belgian hunger strikers are located in Verviers, Stavelot, Liège, Louvain-la-Neuve and Brussels.

Prince sparks linguistic incident

Prince Laurent has sparked a stir by only releasing images of his recently-born twins to French-speaking Wallonia and than only via commercial broadcaster RTL. The Royal Palace had not been officially involved in the decision. In a deviation from tradition, Laurent had not released photos of the twins in the days after their birth. Instead, he waited half a year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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