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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...

Valentino Chocolatier

Leen De Leener and Willy Roelandts have been making chocolate since 1978 when the couple took over a little artisanal shop in the Koekelberg commune of Brussels. Remaining a small family business, Valentino has developed into one of the country’s most highly reputed chocolatiers, with their products sold in more than 60 shops across Brussels and Flanders. In the 1990s the company moved its headquarters to Schepdaal, about five kilometres outside Brussels, where they make the products and maintain their own shop.

One in 300 lunch vouchers goes to waste

Lunch vouchers worth a total of €35m were either lost or unused by Belgian employees between 2007 and 2011, Le Soir reports today, quoting figures from the ministry of employment. Wild figures had circulated in recent years about the number of ‘wasted’ meal tickets, with commerce and services...

Belgian tax on foreign bank interests ‘unlawful’

The EU’s highest court has ruled that Belgium violated European Union rules by granting a tax exemption to savers with money only in domestic bank accounts, reports Bloomberg’s Stephanie Bodoni . Belgium’s argument that the measure is needed “to prevent tax avoidance and evasion in the context of...

Missing Belgian teacher is alive in Syria

The Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin da Prata, who went missing in Syria in April, is alive, reports Le Soir. He had a brief conversation with his parents – who live in Gembloux, Walloon Brabant - on Thursday afternoon, the foreign affairs ministry confirmed. The Italian journalist who was with him...

Irish elephant leaves Antwerp for Denver

An Irish elephant currently residing in Belgium is to arrive at Denver zoo in the next few weeks — the first Asian elephant imported to the U.S. in more than 30 years, writes the Denver Post’s Electa Draper . Five-year-old Billy, hails from Dublin, Ireland, but is currently training at Antwerp zoo...

Belgium issues timetable for 4G auction

Belgium's telecoms regulator has published a preliminary timetable for its 800Mhz radio spectrum auction, which it still aims to complete during this financial year, reports Cellular News . The BIPT said that the new time schedule will allow the candidates to start their technical tests. However,...

Yummy money: meal tickets and lunch vouchers

Even if you don’t get lunch vouchers or meal tickets at work, you’ll have no doubt seen someone pay for their restaurant bill or their groceries with them, or with their electronic equivalent (since the beginning of this year, the paper version is slowly being replaced by a smart card which is...

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