Belgium. Parliament voted in January to withdraw state party support for “non-democratic” parties. The decision was aimed at the extremist Flemish Flemish party Vlaams Belang, the former Vlaams Blok, which was resurrected under a new name after being banned as racist. The advocates of the new law argued that democracy should not fund forces that fight it.
According to countryaah, Brussels is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Belgium. Two Rwandan half-brothers were convicted in June by a Brussels court for war crimes in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Kibungo in April 1994. The victims were mainly Tutsis.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym BE stands for the country of Belgium and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
The government’s plans to raise the retirement age from 58 to 60 have sparked sharp protests. In October, two one-day strikes were carried out that paralyzed large parts of society. For the first time in twelve years, all the three largest trade unions in the country participated in a joint campaign. But the government coalition, made up of liberals and socialists, insisted that changes to the social security system were necessary to prevent it from collapsing.
In November, a trial was initiated against 13 men suspected of terrorist crimes. The defendants were charged with belonging to the Moroccan Islamist group GICM and for providing support to those behind the terrorist attacks in Casablanca in 2003 and Madrid in 2004. All the accused were of Moroccan origin.
Right-wing protest against “anti-Flemish” coalition
Several thousand supporters of the far-right party Flemish Interest (VB) are demonstrating against what they call an “anti-Flemish” government that is about to be formed. VB party chairman Tom Van Grieken calls on the more moderate Flemish separatist party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) to join the fight against what he also calls a left-wing government. The seven parties now seeking to form a government consist of socialists, liberals and environmental parties from the two language regions as well as the Flemish Christian Democratic Party. Belgium has had a transitional government since December 2018 (see also 19 March 2020).
Mouth protection mandatory in Brussels
12th of August
Authorities in the Brussels region are introducing requirements for oral protection in all public places, in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Already before, since July 11, there has been a requirement for mouth protection in public environments indoors, for everyone from twelve years and up. Belgium has the highest death toll per capita in the world in covid-19, and the spread of infection is now increasing again. Nearly 10,000 have died from the disease.
Record GDP fall
The Belgian economy shrank by 12.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary figures from the central bank. The case is the largest registered in a three-month period. Even during the first quarter of the year, growth was negative, minus 3.5 percent, which means that the country is now technically in a recession.