The Belgian news in November 2006

4th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian news in November 2006

Biometric passports raise identity-theft issues

24 November 2006

Belgian professors say biometric passports could lead to identity theft and privacy infringement.According to two Belgian professors, biometric passports, similar to those used in Belgium since 2004, are not secured.The passports use a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) computer chip that may put people's personal information at risk and, in time, their privacy.The professors fear that people's privacy will not be guaranteed as their movements will be traceable. Furthermore, there is a risk that their biometric details will end up on-line because the basic coding system of the chip is easily broken.

Total first to sell bio-diesel to Belgian motorists

24 November 2006

From now on bio-diesel will be available from Total gas-stations throughout Belgium. The bio-diesel is produced by Oleon, the first Belgian company allowed to produce diesel from agricultural products. Bruno Tobback, of the Ministry of the Environment, explained that bio-diesel will not only benefit Belgian farmers and Belgian drivers, it will help reach the Kyoto convention goals and ultimately help reduce pollution, too. Bio-diesel is suitable for all motor-vehicles running on regular diesel; no engine modifications are required.

More corruption in Charleroi

23 November 2006

Belgian Justice suspects that elaborate schemes involving the embezzling of government funds were pieced together during Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe's term as Charleroi's mayor. Judge Baekeland considers The 'Econoler' case, as it is now called, as major, but Canadian energy company the case is named after still denies any involvement in fraudulent practices. Charleroi's Justice is already overloaded, and the number of cases involving Van Cauwenberghe, whether directly and indirectly, are still growing.

Walloons watch more TV than Flemings

23 November 2006

The Walloons spend an average of 230 minutes watching TV per day while the Flemish only spend 182 minutes in front of the TV screen, placing them well under the European average of 227 minutes per person and per day. In Europe the most dedicated TV consumers are in the south. Greece leads with a daily viewing time of 256 minutes, followed by Italy with 249 minutes and Spain with 227 minutes per day. But no one comes close to the Americans, the champions in this category, with a much as 299 minutes viewing time per person per day

Strengthening measures against domestic abuse

22 November 2006

Several days before International day against domestic abuse, the third ministerial conference on society and integration focused on finding new measures to combat domestic violence. There are 985 women housed in government institutions due to domestic abuse in the French-speaking part of the country alone. Measures outlined in the 'Plan de lutte contre les violences conjugales 2006-2007', a plan to combat conjugal violence, will be maintained and strengthened. Emphasis will be on communication with both the general public and the victims. The ministers have also decided to open a training centre for the various active parties such as social workers.

Volkswagen cuts 4,000 jobs

21 November 2006

Management at Volkswagen have announced almost 4,000 job cuts at the company's factory in the Brussels municipality of Vorst. The production of over 190,000 VW Golfs will be transferred from Vorst to Volkswagen's factories in the German towns of Wolfsburg and Mosel. Unions and management at Volkswagen Vorst met to discuss the future of the Brussels factory that currently employs some 5,600 people.Volkswagen said that only around 1,7000 of them have a future in the com

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