• Traffic signs up for revision

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    The news will come as no surprise to expat drivers: 60% of Belgians admit to not understanding some road signs. That’s part of the reason why mobility minister Etienne Schouppe wants to undertake a thorough overhaul of traffic rules, to be completed by 2011.Full story
  • News in brief

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    Belgium has slipped three places, from 18th to 21st, in the corruption rankings drawn up every year by think-tank Transparency International (TI). New Zealand heads the list as the least corrupt of the 180 nations studied, with 9.4 points of a possible 10, while Somalia is at the bottom. TI criticised Belgium for the lack of protection for whistle- blowers within the civil service and the complete absence of an investigative agency for them to report offences. Last week the International Chamber of Commerce issued a booklet called RESIST, aimed at helping businesses deal with solicitations to corruption. www.iccwbo.org    Full story
  • Police “assaulted prisoners” during strike

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    Three separate investigations have been launched into allegations that police standing in for striking prison officers abused and assaulted prisoners in Vorst prison in Brussels in September and October.Full story
  • A view of the planned renovations showing the old prison walls

    Work starts on new Hasselt campus

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    Flemish investment minister Ingrid Lieten recently joined Limburg governor Herman Reynders and Hasselt mayor Hilde Claes to officially lay the first stone in the construction of new university buildings in Hasselt, on the site of the former prison on the Martelarenlaan.Full story
  • overlijdensbericht

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    In some countries, your passing is marked by a few words squashed into a column within eyeshot of ads for gardeners and second-hand refrigerators. Not in Flanders. Large overlijdensberichten – death notices fill pages in the Flemish press.  Full story
  • Mark Silverstein

    bite — Mark Silverstein

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    Mark Silverstein isn’t interested in food as art. As he puts it, he just wants to make food that he wants to eat. To my delight, apparently he and I want to eat the same things.Full story
  • Wise men

    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    Congratulations to Herman Van Rompuy on becoming the first European president. Although under his leadership the federal government had mostly come to a standstill, Van Rompuy is now credited with almost saint-like qualities in the Belgian press. For some reason, this country always looks back mildly on its former leaders.Full story
  • What matters

    25 Nov 2009 by Flanders Today
    There’s a feverish excitement at the entrance to the grand marquee outside Bruges station as hundreds of punters wait for the doors to open on this year’s ice sculpture show, featuring the lovable Ice Age movie characters. But I’m here to see something with a little less commercial appeal.Full story
  • Godfried-Willem Raes, composer, musician and robot orchestra builder


    25 Nov 2009 by Alan Hope
    After two years of publishing Flanders Today, none of the extraordinary things people do in Flanders surprises us anymore. Until now.Full story
  • The sick building

    25 Nov 2009 by Flanders Today
    There’s nothing like a good grey and rainy day to bring out all the unutterable glumness of the Joseph Lemaire Sanatorium in Tombeek. The only reason I took the trouble to find the place (not easy) and to ignore the warning not to enter it was because an eminent body of international architects – the venerable World Monuments Fund – has concluded that this wreck of a building is worth salvaging. It has in fact been listed for the year 2010 as “One of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World.”Full story