Belgian recall: 400 Porsche cars affected

Belgian recall: 400 Porsche cars affected

The German Minister of Transport ordered the recall of around 22,000 vehicles of the Porsche brand last Thursday. This came after the discovery of a system minimising the level of emissions during checks. On Tuesday, the distributor D’Ieteren said that in Belgium, 400 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 litre V6 TDI models are affected. It stated, “D’Ieteren Auto will, as soon as possible, let affected customers know.” It further went on, “There are still around a dozen Porsche Cayenne Diesel vehicles on order. They will only be delivered once technical updates are…

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Peeters discreetly begins work to privatise public companies

Peeters discreetly begins work to privatise public companies

Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Kris Peeters will call on his party, the CD&V, to debate privatisation as a way to reduce the public debt. “Over the next few months, we will have to think about what to do about public contributions”, he told De Standaard on Saturday. “We need a good budget that will get approval from Europe. But we are too focused on balancing the books. The public debt should be our main concern”, he said. The debt is currently 106% of the GDP, 430 billion euros….

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Rules on VAT for logistics companies relaxed

Rules on VAT for logistics companies relaxed

The rules on the VAT logistics companies have to pay have been relaxed, so that the price of renting warehouses will be similar to those in neighbouring countries. This new measure was put forward by Vice Prime Minister Kris Peeters when drawing up the summer agreement. It has been voted in, the Het Belang van Limburg reported on Saturday. Apart from a few exceptions, VAT will no longer be applied to the renting of certain types of buildings. This can be a problem for the logistics sector: the owner can’t…

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Joint trade union body rises up against the extension of the flexi-jobs regime

Joint trade union body rises up against the extension of the flexi-jobs regime

The food industry and retail sections of the majority trade unions the CSC, FGTB and CGSLB “strongly” oppose the extension of the flexi-jobs regime. This is anticipated to take effect as part of the government’s annual summer agreement. This was made on Wednesday by the federal government. The three unions say, “Through this agreement, once again, the government is challenging the rights of workers and social consultation.” The system of flexi-jobs, already in force in the hotel and catering industry, will indeed be widened to hairdressing and the retail trade,…

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Record turnover for Bekaert in first six months

Record turnover for Bekaert in first six months

Bekaert announced on Friday that it recorded a consolidated turnover of €2,095 billion in the first six months 2017. This is an increase of 15% on the like-for-like 2016 figures, and a record for the company. The company specialises in steel-wire production and explains this increase by its organic growth (up by 6.5%), mergers and acquisitions (+6.5%) and favourable currency movements (up 2%). These have increased the consolidated turnover by €36 million and the overall turnover by €97 million. Underlying Earnings before interest and taxes (or EBIT) reached €176 million…

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EU barriers to state ownership do exist

EU barriers to state ownership do exist

Polly Toynbee (Labour should exploit the Tories’ disarray on Europe, not copy it, 25 June) claims it is wrong to suggest the EU prevents state ownership and gives as an example how European rail networks remain state-owned; she should have added “for now”. The market pillar of the fourth rail package, as agreed in April 2016, mandates “more competition and performance targets for public service contracts, so as to improve cost-efficiency and get better value for money for taxpayers”, which sounds wearingly familiar. And with 2020 as the target date….

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Sixteen new Delhaize shops will open in second half of 2017

Sixteen new Delhaize shops will open in second half of 2017

Sixteen new Delhaize brand shops will open in the second half of the year whilst 13 others (two AD, seven Proxy and four Shop & Go) have already opened in the first six months of the year. This was announced by the supermarket brand on Monday. In addition to these new shops opening, a total of 120 shops will have been renovated by the end of 2017. The company has never seen this number renovated in any single 12-month period. Delhaize says that this site expansion may be explained by…

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2016: awful year for Belgian agricultural production

2016: awful year for Belgian agricultural production

Last year (2016) is a year that Belgian farmers will remember for a long time to come. However, for all the wrong reasons. It was marked by an extremely humid spring, and even floods in places. Thus the 2016 season witnessed decreased production for all crops. This was confirmed by the statistics of the FPS Economy, published a few days before the 83rd Agricultural Fair at Libramont (this will be held this coming weekend from 28th July to 31st July). Faced with low-quality grain and yield declines, some specialists did…

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Property prices up in second quarter

Property prices up in second quarter

The average price of a dwelling-house increased by 3% in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, reaching €239,251. This emerges from the Baromètre des Notaires (this translates as the “Solicitor’s Barometer”) of the second quarter for 2017. This was published on Tuesday. This increase occurred after a decline in prices during the first three months of the year. In Flanders, the increase reached 2% (being an average price of €264,037). The Brussels comparator was 4.5% (an average price of €434,606) and 3.9% in Wallonia (being €183,670). The solicitors’…

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