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Former De Munt director Gerard Mortier dies at 70

Gerard Mortier, who helped turn Brussels’ De Munt into one of the world’s leading opera houses, died over the weekend at home of cancer. He was 70. Mortier was born in Ghent and studied in law and communications but found his true niche after being given a job as assistant to Jan Briers, the...

Erasmus College joins North African university project

The Erasmus University College in Brussels has joined a European project to support the modernisation of higher education in three North African countries. The aim is to open up university opportunities to students with special needs, from disadvantaged backgrounds and who live in remote...

Brussels looks to slow its growing pigeon population

Apparently the number of pigeons in Brussels is getting out of hand. So much so that the city is looking at ways to deal with the problem, including letting loose falcons to naturally decrease their numbers. If put into action, the falcons would either deter pigeons from certain areas, or just...

Belgian’s foreign minister says Ukraine should organise differently

Belgian’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has jumped head first into the international debate surrounding the Ukraine. On his way to Kiev as part of a Benelux delegation, Reynders said that Ukraine’s future lies in its ability to develop a new kind of political system. The foreign minister would...

Eight local Belgian secrets you wish you’d known about sooner

Enjoy Belgium like the Belgians do As an expat rather new to Belgium, you like many others probably know very little about this platteland: you’ve heard of Bruges, eaten Belgian pomme frites with mayonnaise , and have perhaps seen Manneken Pis in one of his many frocks. But as you carry out these...

Wage Watchers: How much does a student lifeguard earn?

What do you do? During weekends and summer break I work as a lifeguard at De Nekker Provincial Sport and Recreation Centre in Mechelen. I keep watch on both the swimming pool as well as the open-air field. During summer months the facilities get really packed, and you have to keep an eye on...

Belgium’s public services using unsecured computers

It has been revealed that more than 15,000 of the computers used by Belgium’s public services are not properly secured against potential hackers. The issue is most evident within the departments of Justice and Finance, where almost 10,000 computers continue to run on the outdated Microsoft Widows...

Up to 28% of fines not being paid

A news report is revealing that Belgium is missing out on a vast potential government revenues, and it’s not taxes. A Belgian news outlet shows that a high percentage of police and court-ordered fines go unpaid. Apparently up to 28% of police and court fines are never paid, along with 14% of...

Belgium boasts the most expensive supermarkets

Belgium’s supermarket monitoring organisation has released figures showing that among neighbouring countries your grocery bill in Belgium will be the most expensive. The Belgian Observatory undertook the task of comparing the prices of 60,000 food and non-food products to find out how the country...

First World War poison gas munitions in West Flanders cannot be disarmed

Yesterday it was revealed that an installation in Poelkapelle, West Flanders, maintained by the army’s bomb disposal squad Dovo for the dismantling of toxic weapons has not functioned since 2012 because of a defect. This week, hundreds of shells from the First World War have been unearthed in a...

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