• Post Office shares up for sale

    17 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    The federal government said last week it was “investigating” the possible sale of a share in the Belgian postal service, De Post, to the private equity fund CVC Capital Partners, based in Luxembourg. The sale would involve shares currently owned by the Danish Post Office, which it wants to sell. The two foreign investors together paid €300 million for a holding of 50% minus one share, all of which would pass to CVC under the deal.Full story
  • An ironing atelier is one of the new businesses created since the introduction of service cheques

    Court criticises government over service cheques

    17 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    The government is overestimating the success of service cheques, the system that allows members of the public to pay for cleaning and ironing work while avoiding the black economy. Last year 600,000 people paid for services with 73 million service cheques, one-third more than in 2007. At the same time, the system provided work for 90,000 people, predominantly women with little education and few marketable job skills.Full story
  • Lucien Verkest, pictured outside his factory in Deinze

    Sentences in dioxin case

    17 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    A court in Ghent last week sentenced two businessmen – a father and son – to two years suspended for their role in the dioxin crisis that hit the Belgian food industry in 1999. Lucien Verkest and his son Jan were tried along with five other men in relation to the contamination of animal fat for the manufacture of animal feed. The fat was found to contain machine oil mixed with toxic products.Full story
  • Louis Cheung, second-in-command at Ping An, whose vote could embarrass the government

    Fortis deal hanging by a thread

    17 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    The Belgian government’s proposed sale of bank-insurer Fortis to the French BNP Paribas hung in the balance this week as Fortis’ main private shareholder switched its vote to oppose the deal.Full story
  • The clothmaker's hall and belfry

    A devil of a town

    11 Feb 2009 by Flanders Today
    Located slap bang in the middle of the triangle formed by Bruges, Ghent and Kortrijk, it's inevitable that the town of Tielt struggled to make a mark on the West Flanders scene. Skilled craftsmen were — and still are — attracted to the three nearby cities in search of more or better work. Today's tourists frequently do something similar, bypassing the burg of about 20,000 on their way to visit its more famous neighbours.Full story
  • Antwerp can damage your health

    4 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    The average resident of Antwerp has a life expectancy around two years shorter than in other cities in Flanders, according to figures collected by the city council and a social aid agency. According to recent estimates, a boy born in Flanders in 2006 has a life expectancy of 77.7 years and 82.9 for a girl. The life expectancy in Antwerp is currently 76.4 years for a man and 81.2 for a woman.Full story
  • Immigrants and natives live together, but not in harmony

    Dismay at Islamophobia study findings

    4 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    Politicians, academics and social workers have reacted with shock to the report released last week that shows that half of all Flemish people think that Islam represents a threat to Europe’s cultural values. The report, based on research carried out by the Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research (ISPO) at Leuven University, also found that 37% of Flemings think that Muslims living here have no respect for local values and that 46% believe that Islam has no positive contribution to make to Western culture. Full story
  • Fashionista

    4 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    You have to be careful not to pass right by the newest jewellery boutique in Antwerp: it’s housed on the first floor of a building, right above a clothing shop. Not the most conventional choice of location, but, then again, Limited Edition Jewellery is anything but conventional.Full story
  • Flemish comic artists in France

    Flemish strips in France

    4 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    “Belgium is already on the map of comic book land, but we wanted to put the new generation of Flemish comics in the spotlight!” Full story
  • three proud tubists from Aartselaar

    I'm with the band

    4 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    In cities, towns and villages the length and breadth of Flanders, the sounds of their rehearsals emanate from cafés, from cultural centres, from sports halls. Their concerts are frequently sold out, and they compete at - and frequently win - European and global competitions.Full story