Between 200 and 250 taxis demonstrate in the streets of Brussels

Between 200 and 250 taxis demonstrate in the streets of Brussels

Between 200 to 250 taxis left from Place Poelaert in Brussels around 10.15 a.m. This was according to the General Secretary of the Federation of Belgian Taxis (“FEBET”), Sam Bouchal. They headed for the office of the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort. The initiative, organised by the Front Commun (Mutual Front) of Brussels taxi drivers, had the symbolic appearance of a funeral procession. It started around 8.30 a.m. at Place Poelaert, where taxis were gathered at first. The procession carried a coffin to Mr Vervoort’s office (Rue Ducale)…

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Sex workers in St.-Josse in increasingly precarious situation, group warns

Sex workers in St.-Josse in increasingly precarious situation, group warns

“The confusion some people make between sex work and human trafficking is only making working conditions increasingly deplorable for men and women who do sex work freely,” the UTSOPI collective, which defends the rights of sex workers, said on Monday. The statement by UTSOPI – the Union of Sexworkers Organized for Independence – came in reaction to weekend articles in the Flemish press on an influx of Nigerian women in prostitution in Belgium. The Flemish press reported the Federal Police as stating that more and more under-aged girls, often from…

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Lactalis to withdraw 12m boxes of baby milk in salmonella scandal

Lactalis to withdraw 12m boxes of baby milk in salmonella scandal

Emmanuel Besnier, chief executive of French dairy giant, says all products from contaminated factory will be recalled The head of a French dairy giant at the centre of an international salmonella scandal has promised to withdraw 12m boxes of powdered baby milk from the supermarket shelves of 83 countries. Emmanuel Besnier, the scion of the secretive family behind one of the world’s biggest dairy groups, was speaking publicly for the first time since an outcry erupted over claims the company hid the salmonella outbreak at a plant making the product….

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Fewer garage owners but higher staff numbers per unit

Fewer garage owners but higher staff numbers per unit

In Belgium, the number of garage owners has decreased in recent decades, going from 6,000 in 1990 to some 1,800 dealers today. Traxio, the federation for the automobile sector and related industries has indicated this. The volume of employment in the sector has however remained stable and there are some 3,000 job vacancies across the entire country. The spokesman for Traxio, Philippe Decrock, explained to the Belga press agency, “Back in 1990, each garage employed an average of between five and 10 people. Currently there are between 20 and 50…

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Even more company cars in Belgium

Even more company cars in Belgium

In 2017, 292,734 new company cars were recorded, or 3.2% more than previous year. This is reported on Tuesday in De Tijd, and is based upon figures from the Belgian Automobile Federation (“Febiac”). Traxio says that this growth is due to the implementation of a “plan cafétéria”, or a menu of multiple options, within large companies. The spokesman for the Federation says, “Numerous employees continue to go for the company car option.” The Belgian Federation for Vehicles Rental Providers (“Renta”) expects that the anticipated changes will have little impact on…

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Cosmetic sector determined to do without microplastics by 2020

Cosmetic sector determined to do without microplastics by 2020

The cosmetic, detergent and cleaning products sector is committed to totally abolishing plastic microbeads in “rince-off” cosmetics and dental products by 31 December 2019. This is a first in Europe. This commitment is part of a sectoral agreement, which the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Marie Christine Marghem, will sign Tuesday with DETIC, the Belgium-Luxembourg Association of cosmetic, detergent and cleaning products producers and distributors. Microplastics are solid particles of less than 5 millimetres, completely or partially composed of insoluble synthetic polymers which are non-biodegradable in an aquatic environment….

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Seven million tourists stayed in Brussels last year

Seven million tourists stayed in Brussels last year

Brussels hotels provided accommodation for seven million tourists in 2017, according to Patrick Bontinck, the President of VisitBrussels. He was quoted by La Libre Belgique and La Dernière Heure on Saturday. “We had almost seven million people staying in our hotels, which means they were 70% occupied. That’s an 8 point increase compared to 2016”, says Mr Bontinck. “In other words, we are now seeing similar figures to before the attacks. If we look at the last three months, we can clearly hope to see growth again from this year”,…

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Unemployment in Brussels drops to lowest level since 2000

Unemployment in Brussels drops to lowest level since 2000

The monthly unemployment rate in the Brussels Region went down for the 38th consecutive month in December 2017, and now stands at 16.4%, Actiris reported on Wednesday. Youthful unemployment measured on a monthly basis decreased for the 55th consecutive month, and is now 24.3%, the regional employment service added. The number of jobseekers in Brussels was 91,091 last month, a drop of 894 (-1%) compared to November 2017 and 5,645 units (-5,8%) lower than in December 2016. The drop was more marked among jobseekers under the age of 25 years:…

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Bitcoin loses some dazzle as second-tier crypto coins catch up

Bitcoin loses some dazzle as second-tier crypto coins catch up

Bitcoin alternatives are closing the gap with the market leader after names like stellar and cardano became red hot as 2017 was closing. The biggest cryptocurrency’s share of market value has fallen to about 37 percent from 56 percent a month ago, according to CoinMarketCap prices for coins and tokens. Stellar, designed for cross-border payments, has more than doubled in the first trading days of this year, achieving a record market cap of more than $13 billion. That kind of move raises questions as to whether speculators will drive up…

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Europe’s Record Factory Growth Puts the Squeeze on Resources

Europe’s Record Factory Growth Puts the Squeeze on Resources

Euro-area manufacturing growth accelerated to a record in December, capping a solid year for factories which is now eating into production capacity. With export demand strengthening, IHS Markit’s monthly report on manufacturing showed both new orders and output were the strongest in 17 years. Germany’s gauge rose to a record and France improved. Global growth also got a boost from a solid reading in China’s manufacturing sector. But while the reports highlight momentum in manufacturing heading into 2018 after the world economy’s best performance in three years, they also point…

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