• Kris Peeters

    Kris Peeters launches new government

    14 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Bart De Wever, president of the N-VA, had hoped to wind up the Flemish coalition talks before his wedding day on 11 July, the Flemish holiday. He got what he wanted: a new coalition agreement and a new Flemish government.Full story
  • The Spitfire XII had "clipped" wings to allow better manoeuvrability

    Spitfire fragments recovered

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    A Flemish salvage group last week recovered fragments from a unique Spitfire which crashed in September 1943 in a field in Beveren-Ijzer in West Flanders. The Spitfire XII was a prototype of which only 100 were constructed. Its design was intended to break the dominance of German fighters by flying faster and lower than the existing model. The plane flown by Australian pilot Flight Sergeant Stan May was escorting American fighter-bombers on a mission over Lille when it was shot down.  Full story
  • Smoking ban discriminates, court rules

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The public health committee of the federal parliament last week approved a new smoking ban aimed at clearing up the grey area defining those premises to which a ban does not apply. But the new law seemed likely to be sunk before it was even launched, following a ruling by the Antwerp court of appeal. Full story
  • Philippe Vandenberg

    Troubled painter Vandenberg commits suicide

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Philippe Vandenberg, a painter best known for his large-scale Expressionist works, committed suicide at his home in Ghent last week. He was 57. Full story
  • News in brief

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The Post Office last week unveiled the new 90-cent stamp commemorating Father Damiaan, who will be canonised on 11 October in Rome. The stamp combines two images of the Flemish priest, one showing him working among lepers in Hawaii. It will be on sale from 5 October. -----Full story
  • Grieving Flanders says farewell to Yasmine

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Hundreds of fans crowded the Antwerp crematorium last week for the funeral of Hilde Rens, otherwise known as the TV presenter and singer Yasmine. Rens, one of the country's most prominent out lesbian personalities, committed suicide the week before. Full story
  • The viaduct would pass directly over the Pomphuis (right) and its terrace

    Restaurant owner halts Lange Wapper project

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    A solitary Antwerp restaurant owner has succeeded in halting plans for a massive road viaduct through central Antwerp. Last week, the auditor of the Council of State issued an opinion saying that the regional planning policy which governs the construction of the Oosterweel link, known locally as the Lange Wapper, was illegal and must be scrapped. The auditor is an adviser to the Council, which is not obliged to follow his advice, although it usually does. Full story
  • Yasmine

    Flemish TV personality Yasmine takes her own life

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Flemish pop singer and television presenter Yasmine committed suicide on 25 June. She was 37. Full story
  • News in brief

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    An extension of the smoking ban to cover all cafes seemed less likely to be introduced last week after other parties withdrew support. At present the ban covers only cafes where warm meals are served. Many of those support a full ban because of what they see as unfair competition. Others have given up serving food to escape the ban. Nathalie Muylle, the VD&V proposer of the bill, said she was disappointed that economic motives were considered more important than health. -----  Full story
  • The Pompei is followed by the pirates' motorboat

    Pirates release Belgian hostages

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The crew of a Belgian ship held hostage by Somali pirates has been released after the payment of a ransom. The crew of the Pompei, a stone dredger owned by the Aalst-based Jan de Nul Group, was this week heading for a safe port, where they would be met by a team of six detectives from the Brussels police. Crimes committed on board Belgian-registered vessels in international waters fall within the jurisdiction of the Belgian legal system. Full story