17 June 2005
Delay agreed on Zaventem noise pollution
Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt, Brussels Environment Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck and Brussels Prime Minister Charles Picqué reached a last-minute deal on Thursday night over noise pollution at Zaventem Airport. The three politicians have agreed that a ruling earlier this week by the Brussels Appeals Court will not come into force for one month. The court ruled that the federal government must end noise pollution over Brussels within three months or face a EUR 25,000 fine for every plane that breaches the court order. Landuyt feared the possible closure of the international airport, but Thursday’s agreement means the three-month period will also be pushed back by a month, ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported.
Call to boost child allowance
Child allowance payments should be increased, Federal Family State Secretary Gisèle Mandaila said in the lead-up to the Day of the Family in Brussels on Sunday. Mandaila explicitly pointed to a February-published report by the Family League (Gezinsbond) that indicated a child costs parents in total EUR 200,000 up until the age of 25, ‘De Standaard’ reported. The family league has long urged for higher child allowance, stressing that payments have been outpaced by the increases in real costs. Mandaila said the league’s demand was “justified” and urged the federal government boost child allowance payments. Such a plan was not included in the coalition government accord, however.
Football rights saga heads to court
A court will rule next week on a request by Telenet subsidiary PayTVCo and its Wallonian partner BeTV to suspend the contract awarding Belgacom Skynet the rights to broadcast Belgian football matches, ‘Le Soir’ reported. PayTVCo and BeTV held the rights for the past three years in a contract that gave them the opportunity to place a 10 percent higher offer should a rival also bid for the football rights. Both PayTVCo and BeTV claim their offer was later ignored and are demanding the Skynet contract be declared null and void. A ruling will be given at the end of next week.
Cyclists face doping trial
The public prosecutor’s office in Kortrijk is moving to place former cyclists Johan Museeuw, Mario De Clercq, Chris Peers and Jo Planckaert on trial for doping. A court ruling will decide whether the four cyclists will have to front up to court. Some 21 months after investigations started, the prosecutor also wants to place on trial veterinarian José Landuyt, who advised the cyclists, and attendant Herman Versele. The lawyers of the defendants now have 20 days to respond. The four cyclists have already been sentenced by the Belgian cyclists association BWB to a four-year suspension, two years of which were probationary, and a fine of EUR 6,500, ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ reported.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news