Belgium has traits of a tax haven, European Parliament commission finds

Belgium has traits of a tax haven, European Parliament commission finds

Belgium and six other European countries “display traits of a tax haven and facilitate aggressive tax planning,” the European Parliament noted on Wednesday in a report by its Special Commission on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud. In an immediate reaction to the finding, Socialistische Partij Anders (sp.a) europarliamentarian Kathleen Van Brempt accused Belgium’s government of “actively ensuring that multinationals do not pay their fair share” of taxes. Following the revelations of Lux Leaks, the Panama Papers, the Football Leaks and the Paradise Papers, the European Parliament had decided…

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February temperature record smashed again

February temperature record smashed again

For the second day in succession the record has been broken for top temperatures in February at the Ukkel Weather Centre in Brussels. The Royal Metrological Institute (KMI) reports that temperatures at Ukkel reached exactly 20°C at around 2:30pm on Tuesday afternoon. This is a full 1.2°C higher than the previous record of 18.8°C that was set on Monday. This is a full 1.2°C higher than the previous record of 18.8°C that was set on Monday. Tuesday top temperature record is the third February day record set in just 11…

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Unions and bosses reach agreement over pay rises

Unions and bosses reach agreement over pay rises

After a marathon meeting lasting some 20 hours the trades unions and employers federations have reached agreement on the maximum level of pay increases above inflation for the next two years. The unions will now put the proposals before their members. However, only the liberal union ACLVB will actively defend it. The leadership of the other two unions ABVV/BBTK (socialist) and ACV (Christian) will make no recommendation to its members either way. The draft agreement stipulates that wages may rise no more 1.1% above the rate of inflation. Taking into…

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Goals a plenty on Saturday evening

Goals a plenty on Saturday evening

Four of the weekend’s eight first Division games were played on Saturday evening. Sporting Lokeren are now almost certain of relegation after a 1-0 defeat away against Excel Mouscron. The result was Mouscron’s 6th straight win. Excel Mouscron’s goal came from Taiwo Awoniyi on 52 minutes. With three games left Sporting Lokeren are 8 points adrift at the bottom of the league. The East Flemings have just 17 points from 27 games. Excel Mouscron continue to climb up the league table. They are now 10th with 35 points. Plenty of…

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New mural retraces history of European institutions’ installation in Brussels

New mural retraces history of European institutions’ installation in Brussels

A permanent mural titled “Why did the European institutions come here?’ designed by Philosopher Philippe Van Parijs in collaboration with Brussels Mobility, was inaugurated on Monday at the Schuman subway station in the Belgian capital. The event was attended by various dignitaries, including the Brussels Public Works Minister Pascal Smet, Brussels Commissioner for Europe Alain Hutchinson, Andrae Rupprechter, head of the EU Council’s Communication and Information Cell, and the head of the European Union representation in Belgium, Jimmy Jamar. Using text and image, the fresco, which takes over two panels…

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Breakthrough at Ryanair

Breakthrough at Ryanair

Belgian trades unions have reached a global accord with low cost airline Ryanair. The agreement applies to all staff and comes after two years of wrangling. Industrial action disrupted Ryanair flights during the summer of 2018 and came after thousands of flights had to be cancelled in 2017 due to lack of staff. Ryanair is one of the few success stories in aviation and saw profit margins increase year after year. But pilots and crews were unhappy with working conditions and revolted. After too many pilots left the company Ryanair…

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Pilot project for unmanned ships on Flanders’ inland waterways later this year

Pilot project for unmanned ships on Flanders’ inland waterways later this year

The Flemish Government has agreed to proposals by the Flemish Transport Minister Ben Weyts (Nationalist) for a pilot project that will see unmanned ships sail on our region’s inland waterways in the second half of this year. A pilot project involving a 4.6 metre long self-navigating scale model is already running on the River IJzer in West Flanders. The project is being run by Flemish Waterways, POM West Flanders and Leuven University. The Flemish Government’s decision means that that full-sized self-navigating ships can be tested. The test vessels will be…

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Ghent friends raise nearly one million for new group brewery

Ghent friends raise nearly one million for new group brewery

A group of friends in Ghent has raised almost one million euros of start-up capital to help them create Beerselect, which will be the city’s largest brewery. However Beerselect will not be brewing beer on its own account. Instead the company intends to supply the facilities for small artisanal brewers to scale up their production to meet the increasing demand for craft beer. Similar contracts already exist with brewers like Anders in Limburg and De Proef in Ghent, who make beer to order according to a producer’s own recipe. Some…

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The EU condemns the use of armed groups and says it is ready to send more aid to Venezuela

The EU condemns the use of armed groups and says it is ready to send more aid to Venezuela

On Sunday, the EU condemned the current Venezuelan regime’s use of violence and armed groups to stop humanitarian aid getting into the country. “The regime’s refusal to recognise the humanitarian crisis has led to an escalation in tensions”, European head of diplomacy Federica Mogherini said during a declaration to the 28 EU member states. “We reject the use of armed groups to intimidate civilians and legislators are moving to get aid distributed”, she said. “We are receiving worrying information about disturbances, violence and an increasing number of victims, particularly in…

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Over and out for Belgian clubs in Europe

Over and out for Belgian clubs in Europe

It was a disastrous evening for our country’s Europa League clubs on Thursday evening. Club Brugge were outclassed and out played, losing the return leg of their tie against Red Bull Salzburg 4-0. Later in the evening KRC Genk threw away a one-goal lead to lose the return leg of their tie against Slavia Prague 1-4. The results mean that no Belgian club has survived the first knock out stage of the Europa League. Champions given a hiding in Salzburg Despite taking a one-goal advantage into the return leg of…

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