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Running for Retrak: Week 12

I come from India and work as an IT analyst in Brussels. My job gave me a great opportunity to work in Brussels and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. This is my second stint in Brussels and I have been here for the past year, though I was here for a couple of years back in 2007. Running was a...

Multinationals take €45bn out of Belgium

Multinational companies have started moving money from Belgium to other countries, De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws report today. Over the last three months of last year, €45 billion left Belgium, the dailies say, quoting figures from the OECD. The massive capital withdrawal is due to a drop in the...

Belgium urged to stay in Afghanistan after 2015

US ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman yesterday made a subtle plea to Belgium by suggesting the government should “stay involved” in Afghanistan after 2015, after the end of the current Nato mission. Nato is putting a new mission in place, focused on training Afghan security forces. “To maintain...

Inflation rate drops to 1%

Belgium’s rate of inflation fell for the sixth straight month, dropping to 1.00% in April compared to 1.11% in March, reports Dow Jones’s Frances Robinson . The figure was announced yesterday in a statement by the economy ministry and is the lowest level since February 2010, when inflation was just...

Hof van Cleve ranked world’s 25th best restaurant

Hof van Cleve, the highest-rated restaurant in Belgium, is ranked 25th in the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list – a climb of 17 places. The ranking sees the restaurant, in Kruishoutem, East Flanders, placed higher than, among others, The Fat Duck in the UK (33rd), the Netherlands’ Oud Sluis (...

Scientist suggests Belgium markets cannabis

University of Leuven toxicologist Jan Tytgat has urged the Belgian authorities to set up a pilot scheme to market cannabis on their own behalf, reports Flanders News . He says this would help to counter the growth of illegal cannabis plantations in Belgium and provide guarantees for the quality of...

A Delicate Truth by John le Carré

Hell hath no fury like a junior-to-mid-ranking civil servant scorned. Or, if not fury, at the very least perseverance and resourcefulness. John le Carré’s 23rd novel centres on the inner turmoil of Toby Bell, private secretary to a junior New Labour Foreign Office minister, a greedy, nasty piece of work with neo-con leanings – but publicly hailed as a man of the people.

Swapping notes: the Brussels Bookswappers Club

Brit Karen Garside runs the Brussels Bookswappers Club How did you get involved with the Bookswappers? A neighbour told me about the Brussels Bookswappers Club, which at that time was meeting in a smoky city centre pub. I went with her to a meeting in 2009 and thought how nice it would be to come...

Brussels DC ‘not on the cards’

The Brussels metropolitan project, scheduled in the reform of the State, will not in the short term lead to the creation of a kind of ‘Brussels DC’, by analogy with the US capital, according to a study by researcher Caroline Van Wynsberghe published in Brussels Studies . The metropolitan community...

Belgium sells ‘bad bank’ credit portfolio

Belgium has pared back its public debt with the sale of the structured credit portfolio held by its ‘bad bank’, Royal Park Investments (RPI), to US private equity firm Lone Star and Credit Suisse, reports Reuters’ Ben Deighton . The announcement was made by the finance ministry on Saturday. Finance...

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