• News in Brief

    7 Apr 2009 by
    A 59-year-old Ostend GP is under investigation after he allegedly prescribed up to 500 doses of the so-called “date rape drug” Rohypnol to a Yugoslav family. The drugs are thought to have made their way onto the black market, where it is a favourite of heroin addicts. Dr Johan De Pauw claims he was forced to write the prescriptions under duress. “I’m actually a victim,” he said. Full story
  • Four hurt as hospital procedure goes wrong

    7 Apr 2009 by
    Four people are being treated in a Brussels hospital for severe burns after having their colons washed out by a caustic cleaning product. It may sound like a dubious medical procedure from the days of Samuel Pepys or the latest unspeakable internet fad. But in fact it was a routine examination gone wrong, carried out at the Brugmann hospital in Brussels two weeks ago. Full story
  • Jean-Paul Votron and Gilbert Mittler

    Belgian banks reveal big bonuses

    7 Apr 2009 by
    Jean-Paul Votron, the former CEO of Fortis who resigned in disgrace after his bank’s share price collapsed, pocketed total pay and bonuses of €6.3 million in 2008, the company’s annual report has revealed. Public reaction to the news, not least among shareholders who lost their entire investment, has now led politicians to look for ways to curb the excesses of top businessmen rewarding themselves and their colleagues. Full story
  • Group housing schemes

    Shared lives

    7 Apr 2009 by
    Flanders is bursting at the seams. Its population density already stands at a chock-a-block 456 inhabitants per square kilometre. In other words, we are more squashed together than people in Japan (339 per sq km) or India (336 per sq km). Full story
  • Patati Patata

    No textbook needed

    31 Mar 2009 by
    “Every time I try to speak Dutch, they just switch to (insert any other language here).” For many who have tried their hand at learning a bit of the local language in Belgium, this scenario sounds all too familiar. Although ‘any other language’ is an exaggeration, it is meant as a ‘hats off’ to the incomparable language skills of most native Dutch speakers. What they don’t realise, though, while accommodating others by showing off their polyglottism, is that they are in fact discouraging people who might otherwise be willing to learn to speak Dutch with fluency.Full story
  • Flanders

    These routes are made for walking

    31 Mar 2009 by
    What comes to mind when you think of long-distance footpaths? The Pennine Way in England? El Camino de Santiago in Spain? France’s vast network of Grandes Randonnées?Full story
  • De Markten

    Nostalgia is the new black

    31 Mar 2009 by
    With global warming, jittery banks and pension funds threatening to collapse, you might wonder what a retired life will look like in the future. What will we do? What will we wear? Will chewing gum still be an option? Given the choice, rather than being miserable at home, why not head down to somewhere like De Markten in Brussels, where you can plunge into a genuinely feelgood retro dance event. Hell, why wait?Full story
  • The Call of the Weird

    31 Mar 2009 by
    To quote the late Hunter S. Thompson, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”. Somewhere along the way, the “weird” also get offered a slot on the bill of the annual Domino festival at the Ancienne Belgique.Full story
  • Jaco Van Dormael's Mr Nobody takes a trip through time

    It's alive!

    31 Mar 2009 by
    Dreams and nightmares from all over the world converge on Brussels in April for the 27th international festival of fantastic film. There are spine-tingling Asian horror films, bawdy American B-movies and European films that blur the lines between art-house and grind-house. Oh, and the dead will rise up and walk the streets, but that's only on April 11.Full story
  • Lotte Heijtenis as Jes

    New Flemish drama puts Brussels in the spotlight

    31 Mar 2009 by
    Flemish commercial TV station VTM is celebrating its 20th anniversary year in style, by going from strength to strength in the ratings. Last year they launched the concept of the TV-novel with Sara, followed into this year by LouisLouise, the story of a man who wakes up as a woman and the adjustments he has to make. There’s another one of those coming along shortly once the present run is done. There’s also a new series of Mijn Restaurant which is pulling in more than 800,000 viewers for its twice-weekly episodes. Full story