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BNP Paribas Fortis to close 150 branches in savings drive

BNP Paribas’s Belgian arm plans to save an annual €300 million over the next three years by cutting its workforce by about 10% and closing 150 branches, writes Reuters’ Philip Blenkinsop . BNP Paribas Fortis said customers were making greater use of the internet for banking and needed less face-to-...

UK businessman cons Belgian police – and the UN

A businessman from Somerset is on trial in London for selling bogus drug, bomb and corpse detectors to law enforcement and defence forces all over the world, including three police forces in Belgium. Jim McCormick, 56, sold what he claimed to be high-tech devices to the police forces of Geel,...

Wage attachments because of debt on the increase

More than 11,600 Belgians with outstanding debts had their wages withheld last year – an increase of 40% compared to the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, Het Belang van Limburg and De Gazet van Antwerpen report today. “It is mostly landlords, hospitals and telephone operators who claim...

Terborght

Less than 10 years after opening Terborght, chef Lesley De Vlieger has become a household name on the Belgian food scene, and the restaurant’s location – in the ‘castle belt’ south-west of the capital – makes it equally accessible to Brusselers as it does to suburban bons vivants.

Two-thirds favour Brussels as independent city state

Nearly seven out of 10 Brussels inhabitants would opt for the capital to become an independent city state in the event that Flemish nationalist designs bring about the end of Belgium, a poll showed on Saturday. In total, 68% of those surveyed in the Brussels-Capital Region, home to nearly two...

March gas bills expected be 50% higher

Gas bills for this month are expected to be 50% higher than for the same period last year, Professor Johan Albrecht from Ghent University told Het Nieuwsblad. The estimate takes into account a 20% increase in gas prices. Suppliers have already delivered 38% more gas to private customers than in...

Belgium considers cinema tax shelter reform

Belgium’s parliamentary finance and budget committee is examining the idea of whether to reform the mechanism providing tax relief to Belgian companies that invest in the cinema and audiovisual industry, writes Tax News’s Ulrika Lomas . The scheme, implemented after a 2003 Royal Decree, attracted...

‘Widespread’ use of private detectives on staff

Employers are increasingly using private investigators to spy on staff according to a report by the Commons’ home affairs committee on private detectives, reports De Tijd. The CSC union even talks of the existence of a network of about 50 detectives who help companies find incriminating material...

Kinepolis sued for breach of contract and unfair competition

After Mini-Europe and Océade, the Kinepolis cinema complex could be the next to disappear from the Heysel site in Brussels, reports Flanders News . Kinepolis is said to have violated a policy agreement with the Brussels authorities by organising too many seminars, trade congresses and product...

Raising the baton: Bozar broadcasts its music programme for next season

Bozar has unveiled its 2013/14 season – known as Music Lifts You Up – under the command of new music director Ulrich Hauschild. With extensive international experience under his belt, the German takes over the baton from Christian Renard, who reigned over the department for 21 years. Hauschild’s...

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