Nieuport storm: inquiry opened after crane falls causing one death

Nieuport storm: inquiry opened after crane falls causing one death

The West Flanders Public Prosecutor’s Office (Furnes division), has opened an inquiry following the toppling of a crane, which caused the death of one person in Nieuport on Wednesday. The Public Prosecutor, Filiep Jodts, indicated that an expert had gone to the scene of the accident to examine the circumstances. So far it appears that a storm made a crane swing. It then overturned onto an apartment block and several cars. The incident happened on Wednesday. One fatality, aged 73, was discovered under the wreckage. The crane in question had…

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Record drop in homicides in Brussels in 2017

Record drop in homicides in Brussels in 2017

According to the first annual assessment of crime in Brussels for 2017, the number of homicides in the capital region was at a historic low this year, La Dernière Heure daily reported on Thursday. The Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP) in Brussels registered 43 homicides since the 1st of January 2017, twice as few as in 2014, according to OPP spokesman Denis Goeman. Since 2014, the number of homicides has decreased continuously, from 87 cases in that year to 60 in 2015, and 46 in 2016. Since the period…

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0% loan to purchase works by Flemish or Brussels artists

0% loan to purchase works by Flemish or Brussels artists

The Flemish government is to instigate, with effect from next Autumn, a 0% loan for art lovers likely to buy Flemish or Brussels works of arts, during the given artist’s lifetime. This was indicated on Wednesday by the Minister for Culture, Sven Gatz (Open Vld). In doing so, the minister hopes to strengthen the status of artists and reduce the reduce the access threshold to these works for small art lovers and even small art galleries. The third sector organisation, Kunst in Huis, which will be responsible for developing the…

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Businesses forced to wait longer to be paid

Businesses forced to wait longer to be paid

Businesses generally have to wait longer these days for the State or other businesses to settle their invoices, Unizo – an association linking Flemish medium-sized businesses – and the Graydon consultancy noted on Wednesday. From the third quarter of 2014, when the bulk of the crisis appeared to be over, invoices had been paid at a faster rate. However, a slowdown was observed in the fourth quarter of 2015, and by the third quarter of this year, only 68.3% of invoices were paid on time. According to Graydon and Unizo,…

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Increasing numbers of foreign doctors practising in Belgium

Increasing numbers of foreign doctors practising in Belgium

The number of foreign doctors practising in Belgium significantly increased between 2010 and 2015. This emerged from a response from the Minister for Health, Maggie De Block, to a parliamentary question from the PTB deputy, Marco Van Hees. The number of foreign doctors registered with Inami (the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance) with a Belgian qualification went from 59 (or 4.8% of the total) in 2010 to 113 (6.59%) in 2015. Those who studied abroad went from 227 (10.5% of total) to 359 (21.09%) in the same period….

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Applicants for Belgian nationality to supply birth certificate

Applicants for Belgian nationality to supply birth certificate

Foreign nationals wishing to acquire Belgian nationality in future must follow the full Belgian civic integration process. This means that they must show their birth certificate from their country of origin. The point was decided on Friday by the Cabinet. The Justice Minister, Koen Geens’s, department indicated on Wednesday that he thus intends to stop the acceptance of numerous consular attestations with an “entirely relative value.” The Cabinet approved several alterations to the law on nationality last week. It is mainly those applicants for Belgian nationality who will see the…

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Decrease in burglaries in Belgium due to prevention and vigilance

Decrease in burglaries in Belgium due to prevention and vigilance

The number of burglaries in Belgium amounted to about 56 000 cases in 2016, a decrease by 16 % compared to the previous year. The declining trend continued in 2017 with 25 000 burglaries during the first half of the year according to data from the federal police. The figures were disclosed Tuesday by MP Franky Demon (CD&V), who had requested them from the federal government. The decrease in the crime rate is due to preventive actions organized by the different police districts, as well as to networks of “vigilant…

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F16 replacements: French government promises Belgium €20 billion for the purchase of Rafale aircraft

F16 replacements: French government promises Belgium €20 billion for the purchase of Rafale aircraft

France is offering around €20 billion in compensation if Belgium buys the Rafale aircraft from the French constructor Dassault Aviation SA (“Dassault”). This is reported by De Tijd on Wednesday, based upon Dassault documents, which the daily publication has consulted. France has already promised a “strategic and economic” partnership if the Belgian federal government chooses the Rafale aircraft, and not its competitors, the F-35 and the Eurofighter, to replace the F-16. The French government and Dassault have since then worked upon a concrete proposal, with a view to this appealing…

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CGRA had pinpointed the risks faced by repatriated Sudanese

CGRA had pinpointed the risks faced by repatriated Sudanese

A confidential note on the issue of asylum applications by Sudanese, addressed by the Office of the General Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons, CGRA, to the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, has been circulating for days, Le Soir daily reported on Tuesday. In the note, dated 24 October, the CGRA indicated broad categories of people who could be considered to be in danger if they returned to their country. According to the document, anyone from a non-Arab ethnic group from Darfur or from Blue Nile…

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Army chief announces medals for soldiers on street duty

Army chief announces medals for soldiers on street duty

The commander of Belgium’s land army, Major-General Marc Thys, visited various Belgian cities on Sunday to thank his men and women deployed for three years now in Operation Vigilant Guardian (OVG), a domestic security operation in support of the police. In Anvers, he said he hoped to be able to send these members of the military “as soon as possible” on missions abroad, although Defence staff has planned keeping them in the streets throughout 2018, and is preparing for 2019. Gen. Thys gave the gift of an external battery that…

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