• M&M to open M

    22 Jul 2009 by a a
    Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands are to attend the opening of the new Leuven city museum M on 20 September. The striking new building designed by Stéphane Beel replaces the old city museum.Full story
  • Patrick Janssens approves referendum

    Referendum on Lange Wapper

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The people of Antwerp are to vote on the controversial Lange Wapper project to close the Antwerp ring. Some 66,158 people signed a petition calling for a referendum, which was presented to Antwerp mayor Patrick Janssens by the action group Ademloos (Breathless). The mayor agreed to hold a referendum on 18 October, which will be the first in the city's history.  Full story
  • Musical chairs

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The federal government has been reshuffled again, as foreign minister Karel De Gucht left for the European Commission. One would think that simply replacing him would be enough for the Van Rompuy government to do, but in Belgian politics things are never that easy. Full story
  • Ministers pose for the traditional "family photo"

    And then there were nine

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Hilde Crevits, the new Flemish minister for mobility, takes her place among the nine ministers of the new Flemish government posing for a group portrait on the Martelaarsplein in Brussels last week. Her colleagues are, from left to right, Pascal Smet, Joke Schauvliege, Jo Vandeurzen, Geert Bourgeois, Freya Van den Bossche, Kris Peeters, Philippe Muyters and Ingrid Lieten. The government ministries have been reduced from 11 to nine as part of the new government's round of spending cuts.Full story
  • News in Brief

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Artists aroused Newly-appointed culture minister Joke Schauvliege landed herself in trouble last week when she admitted in a TV interview that she was not particularly interested in culture. In an interview on the current affairs programme Terzake soon after her appointment, she confessed that her most recent theatre visit was "six months ago". She added that it was a production by an amateur theatre company in her home town of Evergem. The remark immediately provoked a storm of protest from eminent Flemish artists such as Tom Lanoye. But the minister insisted that she was the right person to head the culture department. "Do I have to be an art historian to do this job?" she asked.Full story
  • Antwerp Zoo

    Baby boom at Antwerp Zoo

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Barely a day goes by without another excited press release from Antwerp zoo announcing the birth of yet another rare animal. Kai-Mook, the first baby elephant born on Belgian soil, caused a stir back in May and generated press coverage in France, Canada, Switzerland, America and North Africa. Inspired by the massive public response, the zoo has launched a project to construct a new elephant complex in their Planckendael animal park in Mechelen, which they hope to complete in 2012.Full story
  • Army distributes antiviral medicine

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    With a large number of Belgians returning from holidays abroad in the coming weeks, the Belgian army was mobilised last week to deliver face masks and antiviral medicine to 11 locations across the country. Although swine flu is still relatively harmless for most people, the government has significantly stepped up measures to protect millions of Belgians.Full story
  • Seaside saviour

    22 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Ostend is the quintessential Belgian seaside town, coming out of its winter hibernation every year to entice summer tourists with a lengthy stretches of beach, marina facilities and supporting industries (hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs). Full story
  • Enjoy your sugary hamburger


    14 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    You are no doubt familiar with the infamous publicity campaigns of Absolut, presenting a perfect world seen through vodka-rimmed glasses. Now, this two-dimensional world turns into reality.Full story
  • Oh sure everyone looks happy in an infomercial

    Day of the infomercial: one woman’s story

    14 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Have you ever found yourself watching an infomercial and nothing can jar you out of your TV-induced stupor? I freely admit to many moments when I've caught myself mumbling: "Why, yes, I WOULD like to have a slimmer stomach...Well, that shirt really IS whiter...Chopping vegetable so fast COULD make my life better!"Full story