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Belgian gets life on cocaine smuggling charges in Cambodia


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A Cambodian court sentenced a Belgian man to life in prison on charges of smuggling cocaine into the country. David Noel Catry was convicted of trafficking 1.03 kilograms (2.27 pounds) of cocaine earlier this year, said Ei Rin, a spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Catry, 34, was arrested in January at Phnom Penh International ... Read More »

Belgian justice authorities consult Dexia clients’ Panama papers


Two years after the first Panama papers were leaked, Belgian justice authorities have had access for the first time to some 11 million documents from the Mossack Fonseca Panamanian cabinet, Le Soir and De Tijd newspapers, and Knack magazine reported. The investigators, including investigating judge Michel Claise went to Germany last week and were able to obtain the papers. They ... Read More »

Launch Of The First Commercial Flight By Air Belgium


The inauguration of flights to Hong Kong, the first long haul destination in the history of Charleroi airport, marks the launch of the latest Belgian airline. This inaugural flight was originally scheduled for the end of April but was delayed pending authorisation from Russia to fly over its territory; this did not prevent the airline from operating a series of ... Read More »

Doel Nuclear Plant Shut Own After Disruption


Belgian nuclear reactor Doel 4, just across the Dutch border, shut down automatically due to a fault on Saturday evening. The shutdown was an automatic procedure and there is no danger for the environment and the population, a Doel spokesperson said, ANP reports. According to reports in Belgian media, the fault occurred in the non-nuclear part of the plant. The ... Read More »

New Wind Farm Planned In Belgian Part Of The North Sea


European demand for energy is growing. The European Union aims to provide a guaranteed, affordable and climate-friendly energy supply for its residents and businesses. It has formulated objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050. Belgium is choosing to build renewable energy sources, such as wind farms, in order to meet its targets. This means that CO₂ emissions will be lower. In ... Read More »

Judge imposes change of flight routes over North of Brussels


The federal government will have to pay high penalties if it does not adapt flight routes over the Northern periphery of Brussels, in virtue of the decision rendered in referral, Wednesday, by a Flemish-speaking judge of the Brussels Court, reported Thursday De Standaard. The message is sent to the Minister of Mobility, according to the daily paper. As per the ... Read More »

Ken Loach responds angrily to Belgian PM in antisemitism row


Ken Loach has responded with fury at a hastily convened press conference to a suggestion by the Belgian prime minister that a leading university was wrong to honour him following complaints that it had overlooked allegations of antisemitism. An hour before the 81-year-old British director received his honorary degree from the free university of Brussels (ULB) on Thursday, he told ... Read More »

Brexit, US protectionism challenge Belgium’s ports


Brexit and U.S. protectionism represent significant challenges for the future of Belgium’s ports, the governor of the National Bank of Belgium (BNB), Jan Smets, said. Smets, who was in Bruges for the presentation of a report on the economic interests of Belgian ports, said Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, Brexit, could have a considerable influence on Zeebruges. “Links with ... Read More »

CBC/KBC revises growth forecast downward


The CBC/KBC bank insurance group has revised its 2018 economic growth forecast for Belgium from the original 1.9% to 1.6%, citing the risk of heightened trade conflicts, political uncertainty and higher oil prices. The group’s forecast is less optimistic than others since the average prediction was 1.8%. The CBC/KBC economists expect “a serious slowdown” in the economy this year, says ... Read More »

Strike will cost Brussels Airlines €9.4 million


The financial impact of the two-day strike announced by the pilots of Brussels Airlines will amount to €4.7 million per day or about €9.4 million in total, reported media on Friday. The unions representing the pilots announced a strike for Monday 14 and Wednesday 16 May due in particular to the lack of an agreement with the management on the ... Read More »

Brussels to get a Mexican flower carpet in August


The flower carpet in central Brussels (16-19 August) will have a Mexican touch this year. The Beurs square will also have a floral exhibition this year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the listing of the Grand Place as UNESCO World Heritage, under the name “Monuments of UNESCO flowers”. The Brussels ‘Grand Place’ first had a flower carpet in 1971. ... Read More »

Iran deal: Belgian businesses fear future


Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is set to hit businesses on the other side of the Atlantic, here in Europe. Belgium exports to Iran totalled more than half a billion euros in 2017. No wonder then, that its businesses have got the jitters about US sanctions. “There is this fear of direct punishment and ... Read More »

Carat tax yields more revenue than expected


A special tax on diamonds earned the State 68.4 million euros in 2017, beating a budget forecast of 50 million euros and dwarfing 2016’s tally of 51.2 million euros, De Standaard and de Gazet van Antwerpen dailies reported on Monday. Under the “Carat tax”, as it is called, diamond companies pay the normal corporate taxes, which amounted to 33.99% in ... Read More »

Hema Chain to be sold to Belgian investor


The Dutch chain of stores, Hema, is soon to become Belgian, according to information in the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, reported on Wednesday by De Standaard. Brussels investor Core Equity Holdings is reportedly close to concluding an acquisition agreement, the Dutch newspaper reported four sources from the financial and distribution sectors as confirming. An oral accord on the broad lines ... Read More »

Financial authority warns against crypto-currency investment scams


The Financial Services and Markets Authority, FSMA, warned against platforms proposing investments in crypto-currencies and said it had drawn up a list of about 40 platforms suspected of fraud. The FSMA explained that these operators claim to offer the best trading platforms, enabling anyone, from beginners to professionals, to trade in crypto-currencies instantaneously and in all confidence. Some also propose ... Read More »

Belgium less transparent on exchange of information


BRUSSELS: Belgium is now “largely compliant” with international standards on transparency and the exchange of information on request, according to the Global Forum’s Tax Transparency Report for 2017, whereas the previous review, in 2014, had assessed it as “compliant”. The 2017 report, published on the 4th of April 2018, attributes this regression mainly to an unfinished adaptation into law of international ... Read More »

Certain loot boxes in video games illegal in Belgium


BRUSSELS: Publisher these days that isn’t pushing their video games as a service, offering lower / zero entry fees and are, instead, trying to needle more money from customers over time via microtransactions. One of the biggest franchises in video games, Grand Theft Auto, has completely gone away from story-based DLC and has focused primarily on GTA Online, with more companies focusing on creating loot ... Read More »

Brussels Shows Up America’s Toothless Big Tech Reaction


BRUSSELS: Last month, as Mark Zuckerberg faced questions from US senators over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, took the microphone. “I’m a proud member of Facebook,” the senator said. “(I) Just got a post from my sister on this being National Sibling Day.” Others were less obsequious. But the episode shone a light into how loathe ... Read More »

Belgium companies caught selling chemical agents to Syria

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BRUSSELS: Three Belgian companies have been called to court after it was learned they sold chemicals to Syria. According to various European news agency reports, at least one of the agents sold to Syria could be used for the manufacture of sarin nerve gas. Isopropanol, which is commonly known to many as rubbing alcohol, is an ingredient in many household ... Read More »

Belgian firms prosecuted over Syria chemical exports


BRUSSELS: Three Belgian companies are being prosecuted for exporting chemicals to Syria, one of which could be used in the production of sarin gas. The firms say they acted with the seeming consent of Belgian customs between 2014 and 2016, but were subsequently alleged to have failed to apply for the permits that would protect them from falling foul of a ... Read More »