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Culture beat - April 5

Making the most of the end of the school holidays is the circus arts festival Hopla! that pitches its tents in Brussels every spring. The 2013 caravan is in the Royal quarter of Laeken on April 11, Place Sainctelette and Tour & Taxis on April 12 and Place Sainte-Catherine April 13 and 14. Roll...

‘Offshore lists are correct’

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published a list of those who use Singapore- or Hong Kong-based fiduciaries and offshore companies in the Virgin Islands and Cook Islands to ensure tax impunity. Among the 100-odd Belgians on the list, the name of Pierre Bocquet (...

Interior minister hopes to tackle growth of racism

Following reports detailing a sharp rise in anti-Semitic and racist hate crimes in Belgium, interior minister Joëlle Milquet has called for a collective and governmental response to the issue. Milquet last week told parliament she would strengthen the monitoring of anti-Semitism in Belgium through...

Alert over counterfeit €50 notes

Hundreds of counterfeit €50 notes are circulating in the Halle-Vilvoorde area, west and north of Brussels, reports Flanders News . The local police have received at least eight reports of fake banknotes, and police spokesman Serge Roelens said they were being laundered through places such as food...

Belgian soldiers’ Harlem Shake goes viral

The Ministry of Defence will launch an internal investigation following the release of a video showing Belgian soldiers doing the Harlem Shake in a state of near-undress. The images, which went viral via Facebook and YouTube, show about 20 squaddies wearing risqué underclothes and assorted non-...

Belgian overseas aid down 13%

Belgium’s official development assistance (ODA) dropped by 13% from 2011 to 2012, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Belgium’s ODA amounted to 0.54% of gross national income (GNI) in 2011, below the target of 0.7% and resulting in Belgium dropping...

Wage watchers: how much does a bank employee earn?

Bank employee Jan Talboom, 37, from Ghent, talks about what he earns and how he spends it. What do you think of your salary? I think it’s not bad (€2,000 per month after tax + meal tickets + health insurance + bank products) but it can always be better. It’s important to judge your wages in...

We can work it out: Factory Forty

While most people leave the house to go to work, a growing number of independents and freelancers work from home. As comfortable and convenient as spending the entire day in your home office may sound, it can also be isolating, limited daily interactions with other people. Or, with a lot of...

CDH wants to make ArcelorMittal pay for extraordinary damage

The CDH (Democrat-Humanist) party has introduced a bill in parliament to “ensure fair compensation for serious and extraordinary damage caused in the context of the social responsibility of companies”. It means companies would be held responsible for any damage they caused by moving to another...

Cannabis plant seizures double in five years

Last year, 380,000 cannabis plants were discovered by Belgian police, La Dernière Heure reports today. The number of plantations found almost doubled, from 666 to 1,111 between 2008 and 2012, with the majority of plantations uncovered comprising between 250 and 500 plants. Tongeren, Antwerp,...

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