Dozens of activists boo leaders outside of conference on global warming

Dozens of activists boo leaders outside of conference on global warming

An international conference on global warming and the preservation of the oceans faced protests by dozens of activists today in Brussels. Members of the citizen collective ‘Extinction Rebellion’ booed international leaders upon their arrival at the Palais d’Egmont palace. “They are preparing to sign a declaration which in and of itself does not go far enough. We reject their lack of ambition for the sphere,” said one activist. The conference – organised by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Marie Christine Marghem, and the Belgian Minister for the…

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Bob Campaign: 19 drivers flunk alcohol test

Bob Campaign: 19 drivers flunk alcohol test

Police ran alcohol tests on 346 drivers, 19 of whom tested positive, between Saturday night and early Sunday morning as part of the Winter Bob Campaign in Brussels West. The tests were administered in Ganshoren, Koekelberg, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Berchem Sainte-Agathe, the Brussels-West police said. Four checkpoints were placed in each of these communes. Of the 19 drivers who had blood alcohol levels over the legal limit, seven received an immediate three-hour ban from driving, five had their driver’s licenses suspended for 15 days, while two received on-the-spot fines, according to…

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One out of eight Belgians fakes sick leave

One out of eight Belgians fakes sick leave

One Belgian worker out of eight has already reported sick for another reason than for health, emerges from a HR Securex service provider survey, released Thursday. The main reasons for these absences are a sick relative, recuperation, or work-life balance. The main reason remains an illness in the family (31%). If family leave is possible in case of illness, accident or hospitalization of a loved one, it is unpaid and limited in time, which may be a reason why workers take sick leave, without actually being sick. Furthermore, 17% of…

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Passengers turn up at Brussels Airport despite general strike

Passengers turn up at Brussels Airport despite general strike

Despite the closure of Belgium’s air space due to the general strike about 50 passengers showed up at the departure hall of an unusually calm Brussels Airport on Wednesday morning, Airport Spokesperson Nathalie Pierard said. At about 6.30 a.m. around 30 “lost passengers” were assisted by airport management, while around 20 TUIfly travellers were also mistakenly dropped off at Zaventem. TUIfly had diverted its flights to Lille, Paris Orly, Maastricht, Eindhoven and Amsterdam airports. Shuttles for passengers who were to have taken off from Brussels or Charleroi were been provided…

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Opposition to down-grading of E40 and A12 in Brussels

Opposition to down-grading of E40 and A12 in Brussels

Representatives of business and motorists have criticised a decision by the Brussels region to downgrade the A12 and E40 motorways within the regional boundary as “city boulevards”. The decision to reclassify the two roads means that at some time in the future, speed limits will be brought down from 120 km/h to 50 km/h. In addition, the roads will be reduced from three lanes for each carriageway to 2×2, creating space for other means of transport, such as buses and bicycles. At the level of the Reyers tunnel complex leading…

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State reform costs regions dearly, says Brussels Economic Affairs Minister

State reform costs regions dearly, says Brussels Economic Affairs Minister

The Special Finances Act stemming from Belgium’s Sixth State Reform is costly for the country’s regions, says Brussels-Capital Region Economic Affairs Minister Didier Gosuin. “We’ve lost at least 150 million euros in the Brussels Region alone,” Gosuin, who belongs to the Democratic Federalist Independent (DéFI)) party, said on Wednesday in Le Soir daily. “The Federal State’s finances are being sanitized on the backs of the regions,” he added. Since the 6th State Reform, the regions generate the bulk of their income from the regional additions to personal income tax. A…

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More and more Brussels residents opt for bicycles

More and more Brussels residents opt for bicycles

The number of cyclists in Brussels went up by 15.7% last year, according to statistics from the Brussels Cycling Observatory, published on Tuesday. Since 2010, cyclists have been increasingly numerous on the capital’s streets, with an average annual growth of 13%. However, the numbers had decreased slightly in 2017 (-0.8%) after an exceptional year in 2016 (+30%), noted the observatory, which conducts four counts per year in 26 strategic locations in the region. Growth rates vary greatly from location to location. The Rue de la Loi had the highest number…

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ULB denounces Brussels’ exclusion from commuting allowance

ULB denounces Brussels’ exclusion from commuting allowance

Excluding people wishing to attend a tertiary institution in Brussels from a new allowance for students with long commutes “exposes the very great dangers of the regionalisation of community matters,” Brussels Free University (ULB) Chancellor Yvon Englert said on Monday in Le Soir daily. Also weighing in on the issue was Rudy Demotte, Prime Minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, who said the measure was an attack on the freedom to choose one’s university. Wallonia’s Government decided recently to grant an annual allowance of 1,000 euros to students in rental accommodation…

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Close to one in two households “single” in Brussels, one in three in Belgium

Close to one in two households “single” in Brussels, one in three in Belgium

A little over a third of the 4.9 million Belgian households are “single,” Statbel Belgian statistical office recently reported. In Brussels, the proportion reached 46%. According to these statistics, in the beginning of last year, Belgium counted precisely 4,911,973 private households, including 1,696,338 or 34.5% isolated. These one-person households have increased by 1.3% compared to the previous year. They are more frequently found in the Brussels-Capital Region, where close to half (46%) of the 547,679 private households are characterized in this way. On the other hand, it is in the…

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Three bodies found in shed in Hechtel-Eksel

Three bodies found in shed in Hechtel-Eksel

Three bodies were found on Tuesday morning in a shed in Hechtel-Eksel (Limbourg). The bodies were discovered at about around 4.00 a.m. by police from the Kempenland zone. The shed, located on the Kiefhoekstraat, was used for manufacturing synthetic drugs. Investigations continue into the incident, but according to first reports, the victims are men. The Limburg public prosecutor’s office is in charge of the case.

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