• 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
  • 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
  • Oulematou and Luna

    News in brief:

    21 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    The 2009 Auto Salon opened at the Brussels Expo at Heizel amid worries of the effects of the economic crisis on sales. Organisers reported that all stands were filled as usual, but many exhibitors had clearly invested less on the occasion than usual. One report said that Mercedes was spending up to 40% less on its presence this year, while Opel’s budget was 25% down. Car manufacturers, meanwhile, spent “more than 10% less” than in previous years on advertising, according to advertising agency Clear Channel. The January salon period is normally a high-point of the year for car advertising.Full story
  • Manhattan transfer

    21 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    Anheuser Busch InBev, the Leuven-based largest brewer in the world, caused shock waves last week when it announced its plan to move a complete layer of senior management to New York. Following an unspecified transition period, 116 management jobs will move from Leuven to Manhattan. The jobs concerned are currently held by 89 Belgian staff and 27 other nationalities in departments such as finance, personnel, legal and marketing.Full story
  • Cats and dogs no longer for sale in shops

    15 Things you need to know

    14 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    1 The cost of dienstencheques, or service cheques, used to pay household help, went up from €7 to €7.50. The lower price cheques will still be valid until expiration. Full story
  • New justice minister Stefaan De Clerck

    Prisoners go free because of procedural error

    14 Jan 2009 by
    Ten criminals involved in four major cases of organised crime, including drugs and human trafficking, were released from prison last week after an appeal court found that there had been serious procedural errors in their prosecution.Full story
  • Downfall

    8 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    Act I, scene1: Panic in the streets The board of Fortis in September denies rumours that the bank is facing liquidity problems. Worried shareholders withdraw €20 billion and the three Benelux countries step in with a cash injection totalling €11.2 billion. The move is intended to stop the share price crashing, but it fails.  Full story
  • Leterme goes down for the fourth time

    Ring out the old, ring in the old

    6 Jan 2009 by Ad Min
    And so Belgium ends the year without a government, having spent most of the year with one that barely functioned. As Flanders Today went to press the King was holding talks with various leading political figures, hoping to find someone who could pick up the pieces of Yves Leterme's shattered administration. Meanwhile, the country was faced with the uninspiring choice of being led again by Jean-Luc Dehaene or Guy Verhofstadt, both former prime ministers who now appear to be building new careers as saviours of the nation. Alan HopeFull story