Belgian court documents and Western counterterrorism officials have revealed that a potenti...
Some simplified tax forms, which are already filled in by the tax authorities, contain inac...
Belgian green energy retailer Lampiris doubled its market share last year as customers dese...
Federal economy minister Johan Vande Lanotte is willing to scrap the Thalys service between...
Today's Top Stories - July 12, 2012
Current accounts equally popular with Belgians
Following last week’s reports that savings accounts were increasingly popular with Belgians, it turns out that current accounts follow the same trend – despite the virtually nonexistent interest yielded by such accounts. Figures published by the National Bank of Belgium reveal that, as of late May 2012, Belgian bank customers had a total of €42.7 billion in their current accounts – an increase of 40 percent on late 2007, on the eve of the global economic crisis. In total, 17.3 percent of Belgian current accounts are in the red – compared to 19.3 percent at the end of 2008, at the height of the crisis.
Hairdressing Belgium’s worst-paid job
Hairdressers and beauticians have the worst-paid jobs in Belgium, according to a study by the Federal Public Service for Economy. The findings, based on 2010 figures, show that while the average gross monthly salary in Belgium is €3,103 (€3,571 in Brussels, €3,054 in Flanders and €2,906 in Wallonia), hairdressers earn only €2,046 on average. Waiters, with €2,066, fare only slightly better. At the other end of the spectrum, the highest-paid occupation in the country is that of company director, with an average monthly gross salary of €8,329.
Hard Rock Cafe set for early August opening
It’s only a matter of weeks now before the Brussels branch of the Hard Rock Cafe chain opens on the Grand’Place. Traditionalists who had expressed grave concerns about the historical square losing some of its centuries-old identity to accommodate the Floridian giant can be reassured, however. “There will be no Cadillac protruding from the building – nor, for that matter, a single Hard Rock Cafe neon sign hanging outside,” explained marketing manager Sophie L’Hôte. Inside will be another matter, however. While the chain has done its best to respect the interior of the 17th-century building, the place will be decorated with rock memorabilia. Items shown to the press yesterday included a shirt worn by Bono, one of Jimi Hendrix’s most treasured necklaces and a football shirt worn by Noel Gallagher.
New clampdown on illegal parking
It is not widely known that the police have the right to clamp uninsured vehicles, but the use of the immobilising device is about to become more widespread. A royal decree is being drafted, giving the police the right to put clamps on illegally parked vehicles. One of the motives is to force the owners of foreign-registered vehicles to pay their parking fines. If the owners of uninsured vehicles haven’t claimed them and paid their insurance after two months clamping, the vehicle becomes de facto property of the State.
Belgian footballer gets English transfer for his birthday
Another Belgian footballer has moved to the English Premier League. West Bromwich Albion have completed the signing of Belgium international Yassine El Ghanassy on a season-long loan (with an option to buy) from AA Gent. El Ghanassy, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today, can play either as a striker or on the wings and has been given the prestigious number 10 shirt after passing a medical. He holds dual Belgian-Moroccan citizenship, which means he was eligible to play for either country, but chose Belgium.