New convention on used electric, hybrid car batteries

New convention on used electric, hybrid car batteries

The ministers of Environment of Brussels and Flanders signed a new environmental convention on recycling rechargeable, electric and hybrid car batteries on Monday in Brussels. The convention was signed at the Benelux trade fair for automotive professionals, Autotechnica, in Brussels by Céline Fremault (Humanist Democratic Centre, cdH) and Joke Schauvliege (Christian Democratic and Flemish, CD&V), representing Brussels and Flanders respectively. It entrusts Febelauto, the agency that manages end-of-life vehicles, with the mission to develop solutions for collecting, processing and recycling these lithion-ion batteries. Until recently, cars were fitted with classic…

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Gambling Commission recommendations may have significant impact on punters

Gambling Commission recommendations may have significant impact on punters

When the Gambling Commission published its long-awaited review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures last week, the final document ran to nearly 50,000 words. Yet the news reports and analysis that followed concentrated almost exclusively on a number, £30, which was taken by some at least to be the Commission’s recommendation for the new maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). On closer inspection, it was no such thing. The recommendation was “£30 or less”, leaving the final decision to Matthew Hancock, the culture secretary, who is thought to…

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Banks to remain closed for four days at Easter

Banks to remain closed for four days at Easter

Belgian banks will be closed for Easter from Friday, 30 March, to Monday, 2 April inclusive, the Belgian Federation of Banks, Febelfin, stated on Friday. However, electronic payment services will remain accessible. It will be possible to conduct online and mobile banking operations, carry out card payments and use automatic telling machines (ATMs). Febelfin advises consumers, however, to plan their wire transfers on time because no payments will be processed during the four days. “In some cases, that can mean that if you do your transfer on Thursday, the 29…

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Carpetright, Moss Bros, Kingfisher and New Look hit by retail woes

Carpetright, Moss Bros, Kingfisher and New Look hit by retail woes

The gloom on the high street deepened on Wednesday as struggling Carpetright said it was set to close stores, Moss Bros issued a stark profits warning, B&Q reported falling sales, Mothercare said it remained in talks with its bankers and New Look’s creditors voted to slim down the struggling fashion retailer. Carpetright, Britain’s biggest carpet retailer, did not reveal how many outlets might shut, but it is believed to be considering axing up to a quarter of its 409 UK stores. A decision is expected in the next few weeks….

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VLM Airlines to fly between Antwerp and Birmingham

VLM Airlines to fly between Antwerp and Birmingham

VLM Airlines will start flying between Antwerp and Birmingham, England, on the 26th of March, while doubling its flights between Antwerp and Munich, a spokesman for the airline said, pointing out that with these latest developments, its flight programme is now complete. “We are targeting a combination of business travelers and tourists for the Birmingham route,” the spokesman said. The new route and the doubling of the frequency of its flights between Antwerp and Munich no longer allow the company to add new destinations. “With the charters that we also…

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Businesses welcome new mobility budget

Businesses welcome new mobility budget

The Federation of Enterprises of Belgium (FEB) has welcomed a decision by the Federal Government to introduce a mobility budget in addition to its “cash for cars” initiative. “I hope the mobility budget will redirect attention to the mobility issue”, FEB head Pieter Timmermans commented. “The economic cost of our daily traffic jams – 2% of Gross Domestic Product or about 8 billion euro – is indeed huge.” “The idea of a mobility budget has already made progress”, the FEB pointed out. At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 Interprofessional Agreement,…

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Commission approves the Company Code; the ASBLs are worried

Commission approves the Company Code; the ASBLs are worried

The Chamber’s Trade Law Commission has approved Wednesday, after the second reading, the project aiming at reforming corporate law. This lengthy text designs to modernize the Trade Code so that it now rests on the notion of enterprise, rather than on that of trade. As for the opposition, fears have been expressed concerning non-profit associations (ASBL), which would be included in this notion of enterprise. A petition has been launched on the Internet, calling not to vote this reform because it would increase the taxes supported by the associative sector….

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Dropbox IPO valuation set between $7bn and $8bn

Dropbox IPO valuation set between $7bn and $8bn

The cloud storage company set the pricing well below the $10bn valuation when the company had raised private capital in 2014. The silver lining appears to be coming off Dropbox, the cloud storage company set to go public next week. On Monday, the company set terms for its initial public offering (IPO) that values the company at between $7bn and $8bn – well below the $10bn valuation when the company had raised private capital in 2014. Dropbox’s IPO is one of the most closely watched stock offerings in years and…

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Poland’s Sunday trading ban takes effect

Poland’s Sunday trading ban takes effect

Catholic church welcomes law that begins with ban on two Sundays a month, extending to all in 2020. A Polish law banning almost all trade on Sundays has taken effect, with large supermarkets and most other retailers closed for the first time since liberal shopping laws were introduced in the 1990s after the collapse of communism. The change is stirring up a range of emotions in a country where some feel workers are exploited but many others see consumer freedom as one of the most tangible benefits of the free…

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Carillion contracts deal fails, putting 2,500 jobs at risk

Carillion contracts deal fails, putting 2,500 jobs at risk

Canadian firm BGIS pulls out of planned takeover of outsourced government contracts. A Canadian firm has pulled out of a deal to buy a substantial number of public sector contracts from collapsed outsourcing firm Carillion, putting at risk 2,500 jobs that looked set to be saved. Real estate and facilities management company BGIS said last month it had agreed with the official receiver managing Carillion’s liquidation to buy contracts to provide services to hospitals, the education sector, justice, transport and emergency services. But in an unexpected announcement on Thursday, BGIS…

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