Headlines – Friday 17th May 2013

Strike Continues: Government Intervenes

After the baggage strike entered its fifth day, the Belgian Government took steps to intervene to ensure the airport at Zaventem stays open. Swissport’s equipment has been siezed, in what has been described as a “necessary move” given the dispute has now been running for five days and that most staff still refuse to return to work. A deal was struck yesterday with Swissport, which has since been rejected by the majority of employees.


Truck Drivers Receive Police Checks

Truck drivers are being checked by police at Port Zebrugge as Belgian transport unions have discovered that East European truck drivers are being recruited cheaply and illegally by bogus companies.


Cycling Champion In Fraud Investigation

Flemish cycling champion Tom Boonen is being investigated for fraud by prosecutors. As of yet, it is unclear as to whether there is a link between this investigation and a deal he struck with tax authorities last year.


Sex Abuse Complaints Against Church

There have been over 300 complaints filed against the Belgian Roman Catholic Church about the sexual abuse of minors. The allegations began after it was revealed in 2010 that ex-Bishop Roger Vangheulwe abused his nephew for 13 years.


Fewer Road Deaths At Weekends

Last year the average number of deaths caused by road traffic accidents fell from 12 people a month in 2011 to 8.5 a month, a 30% decrease. This makes weekday evenings statistically more dangerous on the roads than weekends.


Brussels Hospital To Conduct Artificial Heart Surgery

Brussels’ Saint-Pierre University Hospital, a leading research and teaching institute has agreed to participate in the first clinical implantations of the bioprosthetic artificial heart. Chief of cardiovascular surgery Professor Didier de Cannière, said: “The lack of donors and the stringent requirements to be eligible for heart transplantation leave too many patients without hope for treatment. This could definitely fill a gap in the treatment of end-stage heart failure.”


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