• Delhaize reveals show-stopping results

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Supermarket chain Delhaize last week delighted the stock market with the announcement that sales for the second quarter were up by 14.6% to a very respectable €5.1 billion. A large part of the rise is attributable to the rising dollar (Delhaize has a major American interest in the form of Food Lion), while Easter (which this year fell in the second quarter) and the American 4 July holiday are also responsible for a large part of the chain's good performance. Full story
  • Karel Vinck cleared of asbestos charges

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Top Flemish businessman Karel Vinck has won his appeal in an asbestos-related court case being conducted in Catania, Italy. Vinck had been sentenced to three years suspended for failing to protect employees against the dangers of asbestos when he was manager of a factory in Sicily owned by Eternit, the roofing materials company, in the 1970s.Full story
  • Thirty percent of Flander's raw sewage goes straight into the rivers


    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    Faeces, nitrates and salmonella. These are just some of the scary pollutants found in Belgian bathing water. In a recent survey by the European Commission, the Flemish coastline was found to be one of the dirtiest in Europe.Full story
  • Professor killed at train crossing

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    An 87-year-old former professor of the University of Ghent was killed when his car was hit by a train at an accident black spot near Ghent. Robert Derom was a professor of gynaecology and a world-renowned expert on twins. Over the years he had built up a database of up to 10,000 pairs of identical twins in East Flanders, with some of whom he maintained personal contact. Full story
  • Disputed portrait is a real Rembrandt

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    The portrait of Eleazar Swalmius in the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp is a genuine Rembrandt. Confirmation of the painting's origins was given last week by Rembrandt authority Ernst van de Wetering. Full story
  • A hell of a job

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    In 1998, when child rapist Marc Dutroux escaped from the Neufchâteau courthouse in Wallonia, Stefaan De Clerck (CD&V) and Johan Vande Lanotte (SP.A) resigned immediately. Leaving the locks open for Dutroux was not their personal fault, but, as the ministers for justice and internal affairs, Dutroux's little walk in the woods fell under their responsibility. Full story
  • Interior minister Annemie Turtelboom visited the scene

    Fire reveals inadequacy of safety rules

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    More than one in five rest homes in Flanders is not in line with fire safety regulations, according to the region's health-care agency. On 6 August, a fire in a home in Melle near Ghent caused the death of nine residents. Full story
  • Ashraf Sekkaki will be tried in Morocco

    Escaped convicts apprehended

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    The three convicted robbers who escaped from Bruges prison last month have all been caught - but two of them will not be returning to Bruges. Full story
  • News in brief

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    This time of year - known in Flanders as komkommertijd, or cucumber time - is typically a bad time for serious news, with newspapers filling their columns with light-hearted stories that otherwise wouldn't make the cut. This week we present a selection of some of the more amusing stories from Flanders this komkommertijd.    Full story
  • Forest occupation ends with a handshake

    11 Aug 2009 by Alan Hope
    The occupation of the Lappersfort forest just outside Bruges by green activists ended peacefully last week. But not, as you might expect, with the protestors being led away in handcuffs, as happens most often in such cases. Instead, both protestors and the owners of the land have agreed to put pressure on the Flemish government to find a way of keeping the woodland in its current state without splitting it up. Full story