• De Lijn

    Half as many passengers for De Lijn

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Flemish public transport authority De Lijn has overestimated the number of passengers using its services by 100%, according to researchers from the University of Leuven. According to De Lijn, in its annual report released last week, the authority provided the equivalent of 508 million journeys last year. But the Leuven research suggests that the numbers used by De Lijn to estimate the number of users are wildly inaccurate.Full story
  • Clean-up begins at asbestos blackspot

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    The removal of asbestos from polluted industrial sites in Flanders is being undertaken on a scale not seen anywhere else, according to the agency in charge, the Flemish Public Waste Products Agency (OVAM). Last week OVAM began recycling 25,000 tonnes of waste, half of it asbestos, from the site in Mol of the former Balmatt Industries, a cement manufacturer that went bust in 1998. Full story
  • Techno-gap could wreck competitiveness

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Belgium is so far behind other countries in the provision of broadband internet that the country's economic growth, innovation and job creation could all suffer as a result, a report by Cisco Belgium warned last week. Full story
  • Metris board approves Nikon bid

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    The board of Leuven-based measurement-technology company Metris last week came out in support of a takeover bid by Nikon. The Japanese company is offering a total of €71.5 million for 85% of the shares, which represents a 100% premium on the value according to last week's price of €2.66, just before trading was suspended. Taking the average price over the last month, Nikon's offer of €5.50 represents a premium of 150%. Full story
  • Electrabel could face tax on €1.5 billion overcharge

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    The electricity market regulator CREG has called upon energy minister Paul Magnette to find a way to force power generators Electrabel and SPE to reimburse profits they made from charging business clients for carbon emission rights. The power companies did not themselves pay for the rights, issued by the government under a European Union programme to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. But they passed a notional cost on to industrial customers, with the total since 2005 now reaching €1.5 billion. Full story
  • Report paints teachers’ portrait

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Teachers are slightly more satisfied with their jobs than the average worker, according to a survey carried out for the education ministry, details of which were leaked last week. Research by the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and Antwerp University also showed that a teacher's household income is higher than average, partly because the hours make it easier to arrange daycare while both partners work.Full story
  • Claudio and Gaëlle

    Reality TV fraudster foiled

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    A man has been arrested and charged with extortion after he allegedly attempted to get Mijn Restaurant competitors Claudio Dell'Anno and Gaëlle Six to pay €35,000, in return for which he said he would manipulate the public vote to their advantage. The couple last week won the reality-show competition.  Full story
  • 17 out of 89

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Elections make people say funny things. Take Didier Reynders, the federal deputy-prime minister and president of the French-speaking liberals. A week before the regional elections, he stated that there are too many Flemish representatives in the Brussels regional parliament. "After all, there are only about 15% Flemings in the capital, so why should they have 17 out of 89 representatives", he said. Full story
  • Eric Lammers

    The Beast is behind bars

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    A most-wanted criminal suspected of having been a member of the Brabant Killers in the 1980s has been returned to Belgium from Serbia. He was tracked down to Belgrade by the Fugitive and Active Search Team (FAST) of the federal police. Full story
  • News in Brief

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    An antiquarian books dealer in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, has unearthed a prayer book apparently dating from 1460, containing two poems by the Bruges poet Anthonius de Roovere (1430-1482). If authentic, the book will be the oldest surviving example of de Roovere's work. He was the first-ever city poet in the Netherlands, and received an annual salary from the city of Bruges, as well as the income from his poems; he was also among the first to see his work published, and his books sold well during his lifetime. The prayer book, which may have been made for a close friend of the poet, also contains two works copied from the Gruuthuse manuscript, and two anonymous works.  Full story

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