• The wind-turbine ring would stretch from Norway to the Netherlands

    Windmill park could produce more energy than Persian Gulf

    24 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    Europe needs to begin investing seriously in renewable energy sources like wind power, two Flemish ministers said last week. They were responding to a daring new plan proposed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Full story
  • Minister under fire over fish drink

    24 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    Interior minister Guido De Padt came under fire this week from green politicians and animal rights organisers after he took part in the traditional Carnival celebrations in Geraardsbergen, where he is a member of the municipal council. The annual “Krakelingenworp”, which is said to go back six centuries, involves town notables drinking a draught of red wine containing live fish, which are swallowed whole. Full story
  • Flemish dialects dying out, warns Unesco

    24 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    The dialects of West Flanders and Limburg could be threatened with extinction, according to the latest Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger of Disappearing. The Atlas lists around 2,500 languages – 230 of which have been extinct since 1950. Languages are organised in categories ranging from “not safe” – still spoken by children but only in restricted circumstances, such as in the home – to “critically endangered”, where the youngest surviving speakers are grandparents.Full story
  • Ferdinand Foch

    News in brief

    24 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    Leuven mayor Louis Tobback almost caused an international incident last week after he said that he wanted to rename the city’s Marshal Foch square, named after the French military leader whose orders in the First World War sent hundreds of thousands to their deaths in pointless military operations. Full story
  • Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

    Basquing in the glow

    24 Feb 2009 by
    Maybe they were fishermen looking for fresh fishing grounds or explorers broadening their horizons. But the first Spaniards to arrive in Flanders were, in any case, probably the Basques. Noted for their expert seamanship, they could easily have made a voyage through the Bay of Biscay, up the coast of France and into Bruges. Full story
  • Flamenco dancer

    Shall we dance?

    24 Feb 2009 by
    Ivo Hermans pours me a glass of Rioja from behind his tiny, candlelit bar in Leuven and plunges into thought with an exclamation of “Hmmm”. The Spanish aficionado is about to tell me how the word “flamenco” is connected to Flanders and has, in fact, got nothing to do with pink, wading birds.Full story
  • If I can make it there

    23 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    When Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that bears his name in September 1609, he had little idea of the impact of his voyage. But his exploration set the stage for Dutch colonisation in the New World and forged a trail that subsequent adventure seekers would follow from Europe to the Americas.Full story
  • News in brief

    23 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
     Data disclosureBrussels hospitals have to allow the Flemish Brussels Committee (VKB) access to data on staff appointments and the language competency of employees, the Council of State has ruled. The VKB wants to ensure that hospitals in the capital conform to language requirements. At present, Flemish watchdogs claim too many staff are monolingual French speakers, which presents problems for the proper treatment of Dutch-speaking patients.Full story
  • Fortis - the "no" vote won

    Fortis vote leaves doubts

    23 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    The CEO of Fortis has called on all parties to come back to the negotiating table following the rejection of the agreement to sell to BNP Paribas, in a vote by shareholders in Brussels last week. The decision left the bank in the hands of the government and brought calls for the resignation of finance minister Didier Reynders.Full story
  • Roos Van Acker

    Face of Flanders — Roos Van Acker

    17 Feb 2009 by Ad Min
    Roos Van Acker is a TV presenter, a Studio Brussel DJ, Humo magazine's favourite cover girl and the 185th choice for Greatest Belgian of all time. Before breaking into every form of media you can think of, Van Acker, 32, sang for the 1990s pop group Eden. Now she's gone back to her roots on a tour of Flanders with an ad hoc band, performing songs about broken hearts. We caught up with her between tour dates, radio programmes and meetings about her future with television station VT4.Full story