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Expensive houses & suburban sprawl ‘tearing Belgium apart’

Suburban sprawl is literally tearing Belgium apart, writes Slate’s Matthew Yglesias . “The basic situation is that Belgium is like three countries in one," he writes. "There's French-speaking Wallonia, there's Dutch-speaking Flanders, and then there's Brussels. Brussels is officially bilingual, but...

Tour operator offers 'sick notes' for truant schoolchildren

A Belgian tour operator is offering "sick notes" to families wanting to take their children on holiday before the end of the school term, in a tongue-in-cheek campaign that has drawn strong criticism from education authorities, writes Reuters’s Robert-Jan Bartunek . "We are handing out free sick...

Kompany decision to play on stuns doctor

Vincent Kompany risked his life by playing for nearly an hour with severe facial injuries, writes the Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan . The Belgian captain collided with Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic after 34 minutes of Belgium’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win, breaking his nose,...

Happy returns? Filling out your tax form – Part 1

If you had an income in 2012, you have to declare that income in your 2013 tax return. You should have received a tax return form in April or May; if you have not received your tax forms by the end of May, you should contact your tax office and let them know. You do not have to calculate the tax...

2,600 drivers breathalysed in nationwide operation

More than 2,600 drivers were breathalysed on Belgian motorways during an operation conducted by the federal traffic police from Saturday night to Sunday morning. A total of 98 people, or 3.6%, were above the legal limit, the federal police said yesterday. The results are consistent with previous...

Belgian ‘shot dead in his sleep’ in Syria

A Belgian national who left the country to go fight in Syria is thought to have died in the Middle East. He has been named as Tarik Taketloune, a twenty-year-old car mechanic from Vilvoorde, who was studying at Mechelen’s Technical Institute. According to his father, the youngster was killed by a...

Unspoiled medieval buildings gave Belgium edge for BBC drama

The White Queen, the BBC's new flagship drama about the Wars of the Roses, was filmed in Belgium because, producers claim, England lacks unspoiled medieval buildings, writes the Daily Telegraph’s Claire Duffin . The film crew moved to Belgium, where the architecture is as enticing as the tax breaks...

Walibi offers no-queues pass… for an extra €35

Customers willing to pay an extra €35 for their Walibi tickets will no longer have to queue for rides, several papers report today. The amusement park refers to the scheme as "an additional service for those who want more comfort". With the €35 ‘Speedy Pass’, visitors avoid long queues; they can...

Paralympic supremo re-elected to Belgian Olympic board

Anne d’Ieteren, President of the Belgian Paralympic Committee since 2009, has been re-elected as a member of the governing board of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (BOIC), the Paralympic Movement’s website reports. D’Ieteren, a former dressage champion, has been representing...

Culture beat - June 6

Forget the Antwerp six, Belgium’s fashion scene is now flourishing across the country. Brussels designers and artists take centre stage in a first edition of the festival MADIFESTO , running until June 16. Organised by Brussels’ fashion and design house MAD it is aimed at the general public and...

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