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by Euro Reporter
2009-12-07 07:55:20
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Alcohol controls in 3 Flemish provinces

The police in the provinces of East & West Flanders held large-scale alcohol controls last night. The 'Night of Traffic Safety' was an initiative of the governor of East Flanders André Denys (Flemish liberal), now in its 12th edition. The 'Night of Traffic Safety' was organised intentionally to take place at the beginning of the so-called BOB anti drink-drive campaign.

Controls were held the last nights in all of the East Flemish police zones, and in several in West Flanders. A total of 50 driving licenses were confiscated: 38 from drivers who had drunk too much alcohol, 2 for speeding violations, and 10 from people driving under the influence of drugs.

In East Flanders 3,155 drivers were controlled for alcohol. 5.4% were positive. In and around the city of Ghent almost 7% of the alcohol tests were positive. In West Flanders 2,336 drivers were controlled and 3% had drunk too much.

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Climate Express


A special train splashed with earth colours is carrying over 400 U.N officials, climate activists and journalists from Belgium to the climate summit in Copenhagen. The train, symbolising efforts to reduce the convention's carbon footprint, left yesterday from Brussels.

The Climate Express is bringing people to Copenhagen while at the same time embodying the very concepts that Copenhagen is promoting. The initiators of the project say that taking the train is part of the solution to combating global warming. "Trains are the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, so why would you travel by any other means to the one event in 2009 that can make a difference to the planet's future?"

The United Nations Environment Program Director Achim Steiner says it's possible to adopt more climate-friendly lifestyles, pointing to Germany's move away from fossil fuels over 10 years. He has called for more investment in public transportation in general. "The Train to Copenhagen project is a showcase of sustainable transport solutions that will be part and parcel of a resource-efficient, low-carbon Green Economy of the 21st Century," says Achim Steiner of the Climate Express initiative. "By sealing the deal on an ambitious climate agreement in Copenhagen, governments will get into gear to propel the world to a low-carbon future so that societies may also finally embark on a journey to more sustainable transport," added the UNEP Director.

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A general smoking ban in cafés in 2014


The floor leaders of the majority parties in the two houses of parliament have reached an accord to implement a general smoking ban from July 1, 2014. The discussion this morning centred on a smoking ban in cafés where no food is served. A ban in cafés that also prepare food comes into effect from January 1, 2010. The floor leaders of the majority parties in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate met this morning for a last meeting on the general smoking ban. They had until Tuesday to come up with an accord, ahead of a meeting of the appropriate parliamentary commission. The majority parties however wanted to finish the negotiations ahead of the weekend.

The discussion this morning centred on a smoking ban in cafés where no food is served. A ban in cafés that also prepare food comes into effect from January 1, 2010. The division amongst the parties looked considerable at the start of this morning's meeting. The liberals and the Francophone socialists were against a general smoking ban and thought that 2012 was too soon in any case. Especially the Flemish Christian democrats are big proponents for a general ban as soon as possible.

In the end a compromise was reached. The smoking ban will be implemented in July 2014 and the government will sit down with representatives of the sector to work out supervisory measures. One idea is to relax the legislation on student jobs.



       
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