The Belgian news in January 2006

27th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian news in January 2006

2 January 2006
2006 ushers in host of changes, expectations 
Various new regulations and expectations accompany the start of 2006, such as domestic workplace anti-smoking laws and a forecast decline in global economic growth.

2 January 2006
Infamous criminal dies in accidental death

Madani Bouhouche

News breaks that one of Belgium's most famous criminals died a violent death in the French Pyrenees on 22 November 2005. Former state policeman Madani Bouhouche, 53, was beheaded after a large clump of wood flew off a tree he was cutting with a chainsaw. His death gives the Belgian judiciary an opportunity to conduct further investigations into the Gang of Nijvel, which was involved in the killing of 28 people at the start of the 1980s.

3 January 2006
Belgians have record amount of savings  

Belgian households had a record EUR 157.8 billion in savings accounts at the end of 2005, an increase of 5 percent compared with the end of 2004. The figure is also slightly more than the previous record of EUR 157.6 billion recorded at the end of June 2005. The amount of savings fell slightly in the 3rd quarter of last year, but rose again in the 4th quarter.

5 January 2006
Record number of political refugees gain right to stay 
Belgium gave residence status to a record 3,059 political refugees in 2005, a one-third increase compared with 2004. The Commissionership-General for Refugees and Stateless said especially Chechens, Rwandans and Congolese nationals were recognised as political refugees. The increase in the number of asylum seekers comes despite a fall in the number of applications. The main reason for the increase was because a backlog of asylum requests was processed last year.

5 January 2006
Russian expat solves Microsoft security threat 
A Russian expat working in Belgium for an IT firm has discovered a temporary solution to a dangerous Windows security leak. Ilfak Guilfanov, who works at the Liège-based firm Datarescue, was sparked into action by reports in US of the security leak and wrote a patch aimed at protecting his own computer, beating Microsoft to the punch.

6 January 2006
Belgacom to buy Telindus as France Telecom bows out 

Belgacom wins takeover battle

Belgacom is set to buy Telindus for EUR 594 million after its sole competitor for the Belgian maker of telecommunications-network equipment, France Telecom, abandons its rival bid. France Telecom had made a "friendly tender offer" of EUR 15.80 a share last month, but as the 6 January deadline for final bids neared, the telecoms giant said it would not raise the offer. It meant Belgacom's final offer of EUR 16.60 would win out.

7 January 2006
Belgian 'euthanasia' surgeon accused of killing in France 

A Belgian surgeon who has admitted to several previous "mercy killings" is charged with killing a patient in France. The female doctor is arrested for giving a 74-year-old patient an insulin overdose in the eastern French town of Belley. The doctor has also admitted to several acts of euthanasia in Belgium prior to the 2002 legalisation of some forms of "mercy killing".

9 January 2006
Three-year-old dies from father's methadone 
The death of a three-year-old girl in Wallonia from an accidental methadone overdose raises concerns

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