Headlines – Wednesday 22nd May 2013

 

Parents Write Open Letter to Health Minister

A number of parents have written an open letter to Public Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx, following the decision to refund the cost of very expensive medicine for Victor, 7-year old boy with a rare disease that affects his immune system. The letter highlights the need for numerous cases in Belgium that also need this special treatment. The Minister’s office stated that the Belgian health authorities pay back over 60 types of drugs used, “more than most other countries.”

 

Coldest Spring Since The Seventies

The average temperature in Belgium has been 8.1 degrees Celsius (46.58 Farenheit). This is two degrees lower than the average, making it the coldest spring in forty years. The cold, wet weather is expected to last a further 5 days at the very least.

 

Pigeon Paradise Fetches 310,000 Euros

A Flemish pigeon known as “Bolt,” the 2012 sprint champion, has been sold on auction site Pigeon Paradise for 310,000 Euros. A 66-year old man from Antwerp bred the Pigeon, and along with Bolt, fetched 4 million Euros for his complete Pigeon loft. This is believed to be a result of consistently high performance in various competitions.

 

Top Flight Antwerp Football a Reality?

Currently, there is no Antwerp-based football club playing in the top flight of the Belgian League. Top businessmen, Antwerp City Council and media representatives are meeting to discuss this issue and how it might be rectified, to ensure there is a top-flight team next season. There are rumours of clubs relocating to other venues, the Olympic Stadium in Antwerp being one of them.

 

Prosecutor Meets with Families of Bus Crash Victims

Olivier Elsig, head of the investigation into the Sierre bus crash, travelled to Belgium on Monday and will meet the families of the victims involved. reports were submitted on the potential cause in May, and the families have one or two more months to ask for the investigation to be extended.

 

Children Working Abroad Earn €69.4 Million in Family Allowances

In 2012, the Belgian authorities paid out 69.4 Million Euros in Family allowances to 44,176 children living abroad, most of which live in EU countries. Family allowances are also paid to children living in Belgium whose parents live in other countries. Tania Dekens, general director of the National office for family allowances for employees stated that “they are just normal workers who come from abroad to work here without living here, which gives them the right to family allowances.”

 

Rudi Vervoort to Create 1,000 Brussels Jobs

The new Brussels Minister-President intend on taking “concrete and immediate measures” to create 4,000 jobs, focusing on putting young people to work, for which 10 million Euros is budgeted. At this time, one on three young people in Brussels are unemployed. Rudi Vervoort has also called for the creation of 4,350 internships vocational training posts and and an online learning platform.

 

Jordan and Belgium Police to Train Together

An exchange of training, security and technical expertise will be shared between Belgium and Jordan police forces, in a collaboration formed by Belgiums defence attaché Colonel Guy Claeys and Jordan’s Brigadier General. Claeys praised Jordan’s police force in their advanced level of training and hopes for more cooperation, especially in the field of diplomatic security.

 

Belgian Diamond Theft at Mumbai

A man has been arrested at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport, under suspicion of stealing diamonds headed for Belgium worth 552,000 Euros. They were believed to have been stolen during the loading process on May 16. The airport stated that the theft was “clearly the work of an insider,” as nobody else could have gained access to the airport’s high security area.

 

England Rugby Teams Headed for Belgium

England Counties will travel to Belgium from June 8 to June 17th for a tour to support and develop rugby nations. They will play against multiple teams, carry out coaching sessions and take part in outreach visits. The selected squad will be announced after this weekend’s final round of group games.

 

Rudi Vervoort to Create 4,000 Brussels Jobs

The new Brussels Minister-President intends on taking “concrete and immediate measures” to create 4,000 jobs, focusing on putting young people to work, for which 10 million Euros is budgeted. At this time, one on three young people in Brussels are unemployed. Rudi Vervoort has also called for the creation of 4,350 internships vocational training posts and an online learning platform.

 

Children Working Abroad Earn €69.4 Million in Family Allowances

In 2012, the Belgian authorities paid out 69.4 Million Euros in Family allowances to 44,176 children living abroad, most of which live in EU countries. Family allowances are also paid to children living in Belgium whose parents live in other countries. Tania Dekens, general director of the National office for family allowances for employees stated that “they are just normal workers who come from abroad to work here without living here, which gives them the right to family allowances.”

 

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