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Belgian Report Belgian Report
by Euro Reporter
2008-04-19 08:11:23
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Police search Scientology headquarters

Belgium’s federal police have conducted a search at the Belgian head office of the Scientology Church in the Brussels municipality of Ukkel. The search took place last Thursday but news of it only broke on Saturday. In a reaction, Scientology said it believed the search to be part of a series of “malicious actions.” The search came about after the judiciary had received some pieces of incriminating evidence against the organization from the Brussels Employment Agency. Scientology is alleged to have put job advertisements in a Brussels local newspaper asking for administrative personnel.

During the interview, the candidates were told they would only get the job if they joined the organization. On top of that, the job turned out to be an unpaid one. The federal judiciary has started an investigation against Scientology on suspicion of forgery and extortion. Scientology, on the other hand, insists on its innocence. The organization says its fundamental rights have been violated and claims it has become the target of “malicious actions.” In anticipation of any further action, the organization’s premises have been sealed off.

Although the organization considers itself to be a religion, the Scientology Church is not actually recognized as such. In many counties, including Belgium, the organization is regarded as a sect that is only out to lay its hands on members’ money. The Belgian judiciary has kept a close eye on Scientology for years. In its turn, Scientology went to the highest courts to fight off the accusations of criminal activities. In February 2007, the highest Belgian court, the Court of Cassation rejected Scientology’s claim in appeal.

About time for Tom Cruise to make a film in Brussels


Economy measures for the army

Belgian defense minister Pieter De Crem has announced his new economy measures. In 2008, to save money, senior servicemen will be invited to leave the force sooner and army buildings and material will be sold off quicker. The defense minister is convinced the measures will not affect the army's functioning. With 60 percent of the army budget spent on personnel, De Crem believes there is money to be saved in that department. Therefore, the large amount of elderly servicemen that can no longer be used for action will be invited to leave the force sooner.

It is De Crem’s intention to reduce staff numbers to 37,000 by the year 2011. "I have a few things in mind," the defense minister explains. "I’m thinking of early retirement on a voluntary basis. Next, an unavailability arrangement, which means that people can take some time off when they want. Afterwards, they can either return to the army or leave. Thirdly, we could allow our men to take up a job at a different government department, say the department of Justice where they could go and work as a prison warder." In spite of the economies, the defense minister wants the army to take part in more foreign missions. To do so, young servicemen will have to be recruited and De Crem is thinking of taking on low-skilled youngsters for the job.

"All similar armies have a recruitment problem but I specifically need to work on this to prevent our influx of recruits drying up." De Crem also wants to sell off excess army material and infrastructure and hopes this will bring in an extra EUR 118 million.

Just think how many more schools they can build for every tank they don’t buy!


Going …bananas

A report in today's edition of Gazet van Antwerpen suggests that banana producer Chiquita intends to move its European headquarters from Antwerp to Switzerland. The paper says that the company believes that tax levels are too high in Belgium.

It can also get better facilities to carry out advanced research in Switzerland. The Chiquita management has already spoken with staff in Antwerp. Some 100 white collar workers are employed at the company's headquarters in the port city. They are being given the opportunity of moving to Switzerland with the company. Chiquita's two Belgian plants in Bornem and Hoboken will stay in Belgium.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-04-19 12:12:50
Throughout the galaxy, Belgium is the most unspeakably rude word there is... Euro Reporter heads there. (Add a comment)

"Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae." (De Bello Gallico, Book I, Ch. 1). Caesar suffered his greatest military defeat at the hand of the Belgians, hence this famous comment about the first people he mentions in his The Gallic Wars. Of course it was that humiliation that infuriated him and set him on one of Rome’s biggest campaign to crush the rebels. He exterminated more than a million of them proving himself to be fiercer and a greater barbarian. The feat was repeated at Waterloo by the English against Napoleon.

Indeed, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Plato may have had it on target in The Laws: the best we can achieve in building the ideal city is second best… Brussels?

vivek2012-07-06 22:03:03
Recruitment OR Executive Search
Your information is So Informative.

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