Headlines – Wednesday 5th June

Restaurants Tackle Bill Dodgers

There has been an increased amount of instances of “restaurant running” and bill dodging in Belgium, particularly along the coast. As a result, the hospitality industry are stepping up efforts to tackle the problem, by installing more CCTV cameras and equipping waiters, particularly those based outside, with the latest communication technology.

 

Nuclear Reactor Back Online 

Doel 3, one of the nuclear reactors required to go offline over a year ago is back online and will be at full power by Thursday. Tihange 2, the second reactor, is scheduled to go back online this week also. According to the Belgian power supplier Electrabel, everything is going to plan, despite criticism from environmentalists who demand a stricter approach to the previously reported problems.

 

Prime Minister Proposes Tax For Royals

The Prime Minister has submitted a list of proposals to the Committee for the implementation of institutional reforms, which includes a recommendation to introduce tax and VAT on royal allowances. Under this new recommendation, The royal family could be subject to income tax, excise or VAT  -, from which they are currently exempt, and most of their allowances would be subject to supervision by the first President and the President of the Court of Auditors.

 

Fyra’s Closing Causes Political Rift

The Decision to drop the Fyra high speed trains service has been supported by Dutch railway company NS, however the Dutch Finance Minister believes it is “too early to pull the plug.” The final bill to the government for the project could be up to 500 million Euros. In the wake of this political rift, the head of NS has resigned.

 

Belgium Ready To Engage With Gujarat Chief Minister

After opening its visa application yesterday, Belgium is now ready to engage with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, closely following the UK and Germany. Diplomatic relations had been previously halted following the Godhra riots in 2002 where more than 1,000 people were killed. Belgium has important ties with the state of Gujarat through a two way diamond trade.

 

863 Pupils Still Looking For A Place

As at the 29th of May, 863 6th grade primary-level pupils are without a place at a secondary school. The most affected area as a result is Brussels, where only 82% of children are in their first choice school. Of the 863, 710 are from Brussels, 71 from Brabant and 82 from the remainder of Wallonia. At the same period last year, there were 761 pupils awaiting a place.

 

Speeding Motorist Ramps Up 21 Offenses

A man who appeared before the Antwerp criminal court yesterday for repeat traffic offenses has collected 21 traffic offenses enough to serve an equivalent of 29 years in prison.

After an apology was issued by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc for the police’s use of excessive force in last week’s protests, more conflict has emerged in Istanbul’s Taksim Square between police and protesters.

 German troops have been deployed to assist with relief efforts in areas affected by surging floods in multiple cities in Germany.

France’s Foreign Minister has confimred the use of Sarin, a type of nerve gas, by the government in Syria, after a series of lab tests.

At a Democratic party fundraiser, Michelle Obama was heckled by gay rigths activist Ellen Sturtz, after which Obama confronted her and said “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but i’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

A dating site for “beautiful people” has launched a spin-off version for companies to seek attractive employees. The managing director explained that “an honest employer will tell you that it pays to hire good looking staff.”

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