Belgian news in brief, 2 November 2005
Man shoots wife then kills himself
A 34-year-old Antwerp man shot and killed his 31-year-old wife before killing himself on Tuesday. The woman was shot four times on the N49 on the Antwerpse Linkeroever. The couple had experienced marital troubles for some time. The man had earlier threatened the woman, who was later killed as she was trying to escape in a car she’d hailed down. The motorist of that car was an eye-witness to the murder-suicide.
ING to cut 530 jobs in restructuring
Dutch bank ING is planning to cut 530 jobs in the Benelux region over the next three years in a bid to improve its efficiency and cut costs. The job losses will affect the Belgian IT department and must be carried out by the end of 2008. ING said it will try to avoid forced redundancies.
Bekaert Textiles to cut 450 jobs
Bekaert Textiles plans to cut 450 jobs by 2008 and shift part of its production to Turkey. The textiles firm has been battling falling sales and profit margins on world markets for some time. Management said “quick and sharp” measures were needed to reduce production costs.
All Saints Day still popular
Belgians celebrated All Saints Day (1 November) or all All Souls Day on Wednesday (2 November), with recent research indicating the tradition is very much alive. About 50 percent of Belgians planned to visit the grave of loved ones on one of the two days. The tradition is considered strongest in Wallonia and among people over 50. Young people aged 18-29 are less inclined to make the annual cemetery visit. The event also sees Catholics pray for the intercession of canonised saints and celebrate the communion of saints.
Internet tax returns more popular
There have been 570,000 tax incomes lodged via the internet this year, compared with 168,000 in 2004 and 57,000 in 2003. The Finance Ministry is pleased with progress and will continue to improve the user friendliness of internet-based personal and company tax returns.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news