Belgian planes have dropped 354 bombs against the Islamic State this year

Belgian planes have dropped 354 bombs against the Islamic State this year

The F-16 fighter planes of the Belgian air force are intensifying their raids against the positions of the Islamic State in Iraq. The planes have dropped 354 bombs during the first eight months of the year as part of Operation “Desert Falcon”. This is 84 more than during the whole year of 2016, said Minister of Defense Steven Vandeput (N-VA) in the newspapers Het Belang van Limburg and Het Nieuwsblad today. Belgium is part of the international coalition fighting against the Islamic State since October 2014. The Belgian F-16s deployed…

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Spain to impose direct rule on Catalonia as deadline passes

Spain to impose direct rule on Catalonia as deadline passes

Madrid will press ahead with suspending autonomy on Saturday after Catalan leader refuses to abandon independence push. The Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has led to Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years. The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue. In a letter to the Spanish prime minister,…

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Wallonia grants weapons licenses to Saudi Arabia

Wallonia grants weapons licenses to Saudi Arabia

Minister-President Willy Borsus (MR) has approved 25 weapons licenses to Saudi Arabia and rejected three licenses to the United Arab Emirates and one to Pakistan, La Libre Belgique reported on Wednesday. His spokesperson said that the Wallonian Minister-President had followed the advice of his administration and that of the Wallonia-Brussels International Advisory Committee (WBI). His cabinet stated that the Minister-President has invited the Walloon arms-producing companies to voluntarily draw up and implement a five-year market plan aiming at diversification. In practical terms, the aim is to make Walloon arms companies…

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The cost of Brussels bottlenecks is more than €100 million

The cost of Brussels bottlenecks is more than €100 million

Experts from the office of the federal Minister for the Economy, Kris Peeters (CD&V), have assessed the bill for bottlenecks in Brussels at more than €100 million. Experts based their findings upon recent calculations and figures (2016) both established and supplied by various business organisations, such as Agoria and Beci. The congestion costs are calculated thus: time lost owing to transport issues (8,960,000 hours for 400,000 vehicles on average on the road each day in Brussels). This figure is then multiplied by the value of the time lost to businesses…

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