Tag Archives: Belgium

BRAFA Art Fair to resume in January 2023

Brussels 04.10.2022 The Brussels Fine Arts Fair fair will take place from Sunday January 29th to Sunday February 5th at Brussels Expo, Heysel, the organisers report. According to them 130 exhibitors will participate in the 68th edition of BRAFA, which is back on the international art fair calendar.

BRAFA will be the first major European art fair to visit in 2023, positioning it, as per tradition, as a
true barometer of the art market. The 68th edition of BRAFA will take place from Sunday, January
29 th to Sunday, February 5 th at Brussels Expo at the Heysel in Halls 3 and 4, where 130 exhibitors will
be taking over the entire space. This venue, the new setting for BRAFA since June, was greatly
appreciated by its visitors at the last event, both for the openness of its aisles and for the very
pleasant atmosphere that reigned there.


Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, the Chairman of BRAFA, explains: “We had a kind of trial gallop with a
first BRAFA outside of our usual standards, since we proposed an event in a new space and at a
different time due to a disrupted schedule. January will therefore be both a return to normality in
terms of dates and also the writing of a new page in our history with Brussels Expo. Our current goal
is to get back to our rhythm and our loyal customers, whilst developing the potential of the space.”
For this 2023 edition, a theme has been chosen in correlation with the initiative of the Brussels-
Capital Region, which will make 2023 a year devoted to Art Nouveau. BRAFA will be highlighting this
movement in several ways. The King Baudouin Foundation and some galleries specialised in this field
will be presenting exceptional Art nouveau pieces. The creation of the BRAFA 2023 carpet will be
based on original drawings by Victor Horta, and art lovers will be able to attend two “BRAFA Art
Talks” devoted to Art nouveau.

Belgium: Big Pharma Waterloo?

Brussels 01.11.2021 A number of Belgium MPs from the majority led by Mr. Servais Verherstraeten introduced a bill intended to approve the “epidemic emergency” On October 28, 2021. After all, the pandemic law requires that the government must approve this state within fortnight after the government has declared the epidemic emergency, reads announcement on Belgium site “Virus Waanzin” (Virus Nonsense), which unites sceptical and critical voices against the pandemic management.(Image: Waterloo, Beglium)

“The bill will be discussed urgently in parliament in the coming days.
If parliament DOES NOT approve this law, the epidemic emergency will expire. It is therefore a matter of convincing as many MPs as possible in the coming days not to approve the law. I call on all of you to make massive efforts to do this immediately. Convince the MPs you know or are close to not to push the population into apartheid and tyranny!

“The government believes that the emergency should be declared on the basis of a mathematical model. A model that predicts that the number of hospital admissions will be highest in the second half of November with an intensive care load of between 400 and 500 patients. According to the government, this would “put pressure on the healthcare sector”.

Quote: “The modeling as included in the document “SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination in Belgium” of October 12, 2021, prepared by the Simid consortium, shows that the peak in hospital burden of the fourth wave would be expected In the second half of November, this prospective modeling shows a load of ICU services between 400 and 500 COVID patients at the height of a fourth wave, putting pressure on the continuity of normal services and regular non-COVID care Even if the prospective modeling does not look beyond mid-December for methodological reasons, the endpoint of the model shows that in mid-December the hospital load would still be higher than the current load. Furthermore, from the previous waves, we learned that a normalisation of the situation in hospitals takes several weeks.”

“In the second wave, about 1,500 Covid patients were admitted to the ICU. Now 500 should already give rise to an “emergency”. This is an absolute shame. We have been asking for the ICs to expire for a year and a half now, which the government is not doing. But now an emergency has to be declared in Belgium for 500 beds that would be occupied at the top at the end of November.

“We have not yet been able to get our hands on the SIMID report. If you find that report, please post it on Facebook. Very curious what sorcery will be used next. It’s the time of year for that.
We know how badly the mathematicians have been wrong in the past 2 years. It would be a miracle if they were right.

“So we get an emergency that is declared on the basis of mathematical divination. What will the government do if it turns out that there will eventually be a peak of, say, 300 beds? Excuse himself?
What a gamble to put the entire country in an emergency for 500 beds in IC on such loose grounds”.

EP: The Left MEPs oppose Sanitary Pass

Brussels 29.10.2021 “Members and personnel working in the European Parliament were informed that from the 3rd of November, access to Parliament’s buildings will be granted only upon presentation of a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate.

“We understand and share the drive to ensure the normal functioning of the European Parliament under safe working conditions.

“However, no in-depth analysis of the legality of this measure in regard to Belgian law has been included. The decision seems at odds with applicable Belgian law as it basically makes the COVID Certificate a condition for employment.

“The decision by the Bureau of the European Parliament does also not sufficiently take into account positions expressed by both the EP Staff Committee and Belgian trade unions.

“The decision states indeed that if a staff member cannot enter Parliament’s buildings when he or she is supposed to be present in the office because the staff member is not able to present a valid certificate, such absence from the office shall be considered to be unauthorised absence.

“In a similar way, following the announcement, some workers from external service providers fear unilateral decisions on behalf of their employer regarding their working conditions and arrangements”.

“The Left group therefore asks the EP Bureau to reconsider its decision, to carry out a legal assessment in respect of Belgian and Brussels’ regulations and prioritize in the meantime other measures in order to guarantee safe working conditions to all”.

Belgium: Day of mourning

Brusssels 20.07.2021 Belgium held a day of mourning Tuesday,July 20, for the victims of the devastating floods, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel undertook her second visit to the region worst hit by the disaster.

“In this day of mourning, we observed a minute of silence for the victims of the devastating floods. No words can describe the suffering and destruction caused.The European Commission stands with the communities rebuilding their lives and homes. We will support in any way we can” the top EU executive Ursula von der Leyen wrote on her Twitter micro blog.

“The Belgian king and queen visited the eastern town of Verviers to console people who had lost family members, friends, and neighbours, and many lost their possessions as the flows swept through villages in eastern Belgium, taking at least 31 lives.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde discuss with each of the victims invited to the official ceremony of national mourning. Queen Mathilde spoke at length with an upset little girl.

Some 70 people are still missing or have been unable to be contacted after massive rains turned streets in eastern Belgium into deadly torrents of water, mud and debris. Flags flew at half staff and at noon, sirens wailed throughout the nation, followed by a moment of silence.

Help is pouring in from across the nation and some 10,000 volunteer workers have offered to visit the hilly region to start the cleanup once the waters have receded enough.

“Please accept my most sincere condolences on the tragic consequences of floods in the southern and eastern regions of your country” reads letter of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the King of Belgium Philippe.
“Russia shares the grief of those who lost their loved ones as a result of this natural disaster, and hopes for a speedy recovery of all those affected”.

European Liberals welcome new Belgium PM

Brussels 30.09.2020 Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation in the Wilmès Government has been nominated the next Prime Minister of Belgium today, 30 September. De Croo is a former leader of the ALDE Party member Open VLD.

“I warmly welcome Alexander as the new Prime Minister of Belgium and the formation of a new coalition government following the elections of May 2019. Alexander has served his country for many years and brings a lot of experience and achievements to the role having served as Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation” reacting to the nomination of Alexander De Croo, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen said.

“I would at the same time like to pay profound tribute to Sophie Wilmès, who not only made history as her country’s first Première Minister, but also stepped up in challenging circumstances to honourably and respectably lead her country through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

“Liberals will continue to play a strong role in the government of Belgium, and we look forward to continuing our very close cooperation with OpenVLD and Mouvement Reformateur, and to welcoming Alexander De Croo to meetings with his fellow liberal European Prime Ministers, the second largest political family in the European Council”.

Belgium: Fourth wolf missing

Belgium Institute for Nature and Forest Research (INBO) has released images of three cubs of wolves, concerned that the fourth cub went missing for several weeks.

In late April or early May this year, four wolf cubs were born in the north of the Limburg province, where wolves Noëlla and August have been staying for some time now.

COVID19: Belgium releases 297 migrants

Belgium Immigration Office has released almost three hundred migrants from the closed reception centers in order to comply with the hygiene measures regarding the corona virus pandemic. That is what Minister of Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block (Open Vld) said, informing the Parliament about the decision. She added that the releases were made on a case-by-case basis and there are “no people who have committed crimes“, she assured among 297 released. All of them have exhausted legal procedures and did not obtain asylum, or any other legal status, allowing them to stay in Belgium, in reality from juridical point of view being irregular migrants.

The experts criticising the measure say that it is impossible to estalbish the past of the migrants in absence of population record in the majority countries of origin. In Africa more that 500 million people have no birth ceritificate, neither ID card, according to the World Bank. There is no opportuity to establish the past of people coming from failed states and war zones, making the decision of the Beglium government highly contraversial. None of the released has proven their rights for asylum in the European Union.

However the Minister preferred to switch the debate from security issues to pandemic dimension also emphasized that the various asylum centers in Belgium are taking measures against the further spread of the corona virus, in line with the rules that apply to all of the society.

The risk of contamination among asylum seekers is no higher than that of the rest of the population. I am a little annoyed by the people who assume that they are all spreaders of the virus. Stigmatization does not help anyone, especially in these exceptional times” De Block concluded.

The health risks are too great, we have to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said MP Wouter De Vriendt. “Homeless people, asylum seekers, sans-papiers or others must be temporarily housed in vacant holiday parks, sports halls or Defence infrastructure as soon as possible, in the interests of everyone,” he added.

Gent: knife attack under investigation

A women has been shot by Belgium police after attacking two pedestrians with knife in busy street of #Gent, one of the top European destinations for cultural tourism.

The incident took place just minutes after a similar attack in #Streatham in London.

AMENDED:

The street name is “Bevrijdingslaan” which in translation from Dutch means “Liberation” lane. The incident took place in late afternoon, around 16:00 Local time.

AMENDED:
A woman was allegedly hit and injured in the hand by the police, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. She allegedly tried to stab two people with a knife. Also according to our colleagues from Het Laatste Nieuws, the victims with knife wounds were taken to hospital but their lives were not in danger. Local police and the East Flanders public prosecutor’s office are investigating the incident but are not yet able to provide further information.

An investigating judge has been summoned and the facts are under investigation. There is currently no indication that the incident at the Bevrijdingslaan in Ghent is an act of terrorism. This is reported by the Ghent service of the public prosecutor’s office of East Flanders, which does not give more details on the judicial investigation.

In the UK “a man has been shot by armed officers in #Streatham. At this stage it is believed a number of people have been stabbed. The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related. Please follow @metpoliceuk for updates” London police wrote on Twitter microblog.

AMENDED:

Stabbings occurring hours apart in #London and Belgian city of #Ghent are being treated as terrorism. Both instances bear telltale signs of #ISIS-inspired attacks: knives, random soft targets on busy streets, etc. No claim yet from any group, though” the director of SITE Intelligence group Rita Katz writes on her Twitter micro blog.

“#ISIS-linked groups have taken to celebrating #londonattack & #Belgium stabbings, posting old and new posters & statements across various platforms. It would not be surprising if #ISIS #Amaq news claims soon, calling perps “Soldiers of the Islamic State,” indicating IS-inspired” Katz concluded.

BRAFA 2020 SPECTACULAR

January is Brafa month! With the regularity of a fine watch-making mechanism, the doyenne of generalist fairs returns mid-winter with the aim of combining the best of the art on offer in Brussels. The 133 Belgian and international galleries gathered on the site of Tour & Taxis from 26 January to 2 February compete with a thousand temptations to warm the hearts of all art lovers and to arouse the keen interest of the most discerning collectors. The beautiful, the rare and the exceptional blend harmoniously, eliciting cravings, passion or impulse purchases, while paying tribute to creativity from the earliest times to the present day.

Whether you are a fan of the bas-reliefs of Ancient Egypt, the Roman marbles, mediaeval Virgins, 18th- century dressers, paintings by Flemish Masters, animal or modernist bronzes, Art Deco or Art Nouveau silverware, Wolfers jewellery, paintings by Belgian artists from the Laethem School, precious porcelain and archaic bronzes from China, Meissen or Tournai china, African and Oceanic masks, unusual objects from a cabinet of curiosities, stylish furniture, drawings and engravings and works by the greatest contemporary designers … one thing is clear: you have to go to Brafa to see all these treasures, and many more!

And rather than discovering all these marvels in isolation, or grouped together, Brafa offers to mix them up harmoniously, creating unexpected connections and dialogue between the thousands of works it brings together. From this proximity will emerge a new reading, a new look based on designs, the styles, origins, paths, materials, colours, artists and meanings of which seem to have nothing in common. Current taste is instead moving towards diversity, eclecticism, the abolition of borders and groups made up of scattered items and here, the choice of gender balance advocated by Brafa over many years is entirely contemporary.

Belgium Reynders not “aware” of inquiry

Belgium Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders said that he was not aware of a preliminary judicial inquiry against him following allegations of corruption and money laundering.

After a preliminary investigation, the public prosecutor must decide whether there are sufficient indications against Reynders whether or not to forward the file to the Brussels public prosecutor general, because Reynders is a Minister.

De Tijd newspaper was able to view the official report drawn up by the police about the interrogation of the former State Security agent. It states that from 1 March 2007 to 1 March 2018 the man worked for State Security, especially in the economic section. In this position, the former secret agent claims to have become acquainted with various corruption and money laundering practices through informants and research work.

In his interrogation, the ex-secret agent refers, among other things, to a series of government contracts and government purchases, such as the construction of the Belgian Embassy in Kinshasa, which, according to him, involved bribes. Among other things, he made statements about bribery by arms dealers and a Congolese election candidate.

The secret agent’s accusations were also directed against a long-standing confidant of Reynders, who was also an adviser to his cabinet.

Perhaps this is again a montage of the same evil man who keeps trying to damage,” reacts John Hendrickx, Reynders spokesperson. This month Reynders has been nominated as a EU Commissioner by Ursula von der Leyen. Along with the other candidates he is awaiting the approval of the European Parliament.

 

 

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