• The Spire of the Glass House from underneath

    A touch of glass

    28 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    The words “Flanders” and “glass” don’t usually sit comfortably together. Our neighbours have a much stronger glass heritage: think of the Val Saint Lambert glass factory in Wallonia or the major European glass museums in Leerdam, the Netherlands; Frauenau, Germany; and Sars-Poteries, France.Full story
  • KBC CEO Andre Bergen

    Flanders steps in to save KBC

    28 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    The Flemish government last week stepped in to bail out Leuven-based bank KBC with an immediate injection of €2 billion and a €1.5 billion contingency should the bank need it. The move had an immediate effect on the market, with the bank’s share price jumping by almost 50% in one day.Full story
  • A scene from Van vlees en bloed

    VRT puts pressure on independent producers

    28 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    A stalemate in contract negotiations between the Flemish public broadcaster VRT and one of its principal suppliers of programmes is a symptom of the crisis in the sector, which is expected to lead to a 13% job loss in independent production houses by this summer.   The VRT has asked Woestijnvis, which produces current hits such as Van vlees en bloed and De slimste mens ter wereld, as well as long-running favourites such as Man bijt hond, to review some of the terms of its existing contract, which runs until 2011. Neither side would discuss details, but the issue is costs: the public broadcaster wants to save €100 million by 2011. Part of that would come from a reduction of 10% in the cost of independent productions.Full story
  • Christine Van den Wyngaert, professor elected

    Antwerp professor elected to International Court

    28 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    Belgian jurist Christine Van den Wyngaert was last week elected to the post of judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Van den Wyngaert was one of 21 candidates for six vacant positions on the bench and was elected by representatives of the 108 countries that have ratified the treaty founding the court. “It was a very emotional moment,” she said. “While I was watching Obama explain his dream on TV, my own dream came true.”Full story
  • 7,000 people silent march in Sint-Gillis Dendermonde

    Dendermonde killer on suicide watch

    28 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    The 20-year-old man accused of killing two babies and a child minder at the Fabeltjesland (“Fairy Tale Land”) crèche in Sint-Gillis near Dendermonde was refusing food in Bruges prison this week and maintaining his silence in the face of investigators’ questions. He has been placed on suicide watch at the prison, and was due to appear before a judge as Flanders Today went to press to determine whether he is sane enough to stand trial on three charges of murder and 12 of attempted murder.Full story
  • The Emperor's right-hand man

    21 Jan 2009 by Flanders Today
    Scroll down the many lists of "Famous Belgians" on the internet and the name of Father Ferdinand Verbiest is frequently nowhere to be seen. His absence is a travesty, because Verbiest's achievements should see him firmly established in the top 20Full story
  • Whisky for Guinness

    21 Jan 2009 by Robyn Boyle
    World's tallest man, largest Easter egg hunt, most people dressed as Smurfs. There are countless ways to stake a claim in Guinness World Records. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of creative inspiration, such as when eight years ago a Swede had the idea to set a new record by organising the largest ever whisky tasting. What ensued was a gathering of no less than 1,221 people in Stockholm, with each participant imbibing five kinds of whisky.Full story
  • Liquid heaven

    21 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    It’s been cold. We don’t have to tell you, right? It’s been so cold, you haven’t even wanted to leave the house to trundle to work or run errands or pick up the kids from school. But you must.Full story
  • Shanghai shining: Flanders will be there after all

    Shanghai, here they come

    21 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    Flanders will be represented at the World Exhibition in Shanghai in 2010, but it was a close-run thing. “There are many better ways these days to promote a country or a region than to stand in a corner of the Belgian pavilion at something so outdated as a world exhibition,” said Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters in October 2007, commenting on the decision taken by his government several weeks previously, but not at the time announced. “It costs far too much, and brings relatively little in return,” he said.Full story
  • China rising

    21 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    Despite the huge imbalance in size, Belgium and China have well-established trade links, and economic and business connections between the two countries are growing all the time. The global financial meltdown has of course had an impact, but China's economy is still growing, and several Flemish companies are setting their sights on getting a slice of the potentially lucrative Chinese market.Full story