The Belgian news in February 2006

3rd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian newsin February 2006

2 February 2006
Police find farewell letters after family tragedy

Police find two farewell letters written by a man who killed himself, his former wife and their three children in the Flemish town of Temse. The man locked himself and his four victims in a bedroom of the family home and set two charcoal barbeques alight. An autopsy reveals the family died from CO poisoning.

2 February 2006
Brussels ranks as 21st most expensive city 

Brussels is even more expensive than New York

While Oslo edges Tokyo out to become the world's most expensive city, the latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) worldwide cost of living report shows Brussels is more expensive than many other European cities. Brussels rose two places this year and is ranked as the 21st most expensive city in the world, with a score of 105. It is equal with Stockholm and ranks above Amsterdam (23rd).

3 February 2006
Newspapers take up cause of freedom of speech

The controversy over the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed infects Belgian newspapers as many run editorials on the issue and one of them publishes the original cartoons.

3 February 2006
Heated debate after warning against separatism 

A heated political debate is heard during the first few days of February after King Albert II warns the nation's public authorities against separatism. In response, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt says he is also opposed to separatism, but stresses that this does not mean he is opposed to state reform. The issue prompts sharp debate in the federal Parliament.

5 February 2006
Muslims protest in Brussels as Islamic rage grows 

Some 4,000 Muslims stage a spontaneous protest in Brussels as outrage against the Mohammed cartoons spreads across the Islamic world. Protestors demand respect from the media for the Islamic faith. The demonstration largely passed off without incident. The only unrest involved several youths throwing stones at the US embassy. Police had sealed off the Danish embassy to ward off unrest.

6 February 2006
High-level talks over Mittal-Arcelor takeover 

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and the Wallonian and Flemish premiers enter into talks with Mittal Steel boss, Lakshmi Mittal to discuss the company's bid to buy out rival firm Arcelor. Verhofstadt, Wallonian Premier Elio Di Rupo and his Flemish counterpart Yves Leterme also meet with Arcelor chief Guy Dollé. Belgium is lobbying for continued steel industry employment and investment.

7 February 2006

Have you registered to vote?

August deadline for expat voters to register

Non-EU nationals living in Belgium who want to vote in the local council elections on 8 October will need to register before 1 August, Interior Minister Patrick Dewael announces. Municipalities must make available an application form in which immigrants can register to vote. They will also need to arrange the registration.

8 February 2006
80pc of Belgian workers happy at workplace 

Almost eight of 10 Belgians are happy at work and seven out of 10 are satisfied with the company they work for. Research also indicates Wallonian workers are more satisfied about their jobs than Flemish or Brussels employees.

9 February 2006
Warning after woman dies in metro station 

The driver of the metro was cleared of any wrongdoing


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