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Oct 24, 2014

World War One bombs a part of life in Belgium even 100 years on

YPRES Belgium (Reuters) – Pondfarm in western Belgium is used to digging up an unusual crop.

“It’s a fairly poor harvest,” said Stijn Butaye, 26, as he looked at a haul of 28 World War One shells unearthed with potatoes and beet in the last two weeks and awaiting collection by Belgium’s bomb disposal squad.

Oct 23, 2014

Merkel to Hollande: budget rigour, growth go together

BRUSSELS, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Germany and France both called
for economic growth to be at the heart of the euro zone’s budget
strategy on Thursday but German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned
against returning to the pre-crisis days of high spending to try
to revive the economy.

With the euro zone flirting with stagnation and deflation,
the leaders of the bloc’s two biggest economies put the emphasis
on growth as they arrived for an EU summit in Brussels. But
their comments betrayed starkly different visions on how to act.

Oct 23, 2014

Wet European summer dampens Heineken beer sales

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Heineken (HEIN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s third-largest beer maker, reported lower than expected sales in the third quarter as Europeans drank less during a wet summer, but kept its forecast of improved profitability this year.

The Dutch brewer, which makes Europe’s best-selling Heineken lager as well as Sol, Tiger and Strongbow cider, said beer sales were barely changed in the July-Sept period with declines in both eastern and western Europe, but increases elsewhere.

Oct 22, 2014

Wet European summer leaves Heineken beer sales short

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Heineken (HEIN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s third largest brewer, reported lower than expected beer sales in the third quarter as Europeans drank less during a wet summer, but retained its full-year outlook.

The Dutch brewer, which makes Europe’s best-selling Heineken lager as well as Sol, Tiger and Strongbow cider, said beer sales were barely changed in the July-Sept period with declines in both eastern and western Europe, but increases elsewhere.

Oct 11, 2014

New Belgian government takes office with cost-cutting agenda

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium’s new center-right government took office on Saturday, promising to raise the retirement age and slash costs by about 8 billion euros ($10 billion) to balance the national budget by 2018 and cut the country’s debt.

Charles Michel, 38, the youngest Belgian prime minister since 1841, and his team of 13 ministers and four state secretaries swore an oath in front of King Philippe before proceeding to parliament for their first cabinet meeting.

Oct 9, 2014

EU raids ethanol companies over price-fixing concerns

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has raided ethanol companies in two EU countries as part of investigations into alleged price-fixing.

The Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the 28-member bloc, said on Thursday it had concerns that companies may have colluded in submitting price information used to set industry benchmarks for trading in Europe and globally.

Oct 3, 2014

ECB credit easing policies will be sizeable: Praet

BRUSSELS, Oct 3 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s programs of loans and debt purchases to ease the flow of credit will be sizeable, although giving a precise figure is difficult, European Central Bank Executive Board member Peter Praet said on Friday.

The ECB on Thursday laid out plans to buy packages of debt known as asset-backed securities as well as covered bonds, which are secured on solid assets, such as property.

Oct 3, 2014

ECB credit easing policies will be sizeable – ECB’s Praet

BRUSSELS, Oct 3 (Reuters) -The European Central Bank’s
programmes of loans and debt purchases to ease the flow of
credit will be sizeable, although giving a precise figure is
difficult, European Central Bank Executive Board member Peter
Praet said on Friday.

The ECB on Thursday laid out plans to buy packages of debt
known as asset-backed securities as well as covered bonds, which
are secured on solid assets, such as property.

Sep 25, 2014

Telenet sparks merger talk after ruling out shareholder payout

BRUSSELS, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Belgian cable and telecoms
group Telenet has ruled out further payouts to
shareholders this year, sparking speculation it may be preparing
to acquire one of its Belgian rivals and sending its shares
sharply lower.

The market had been expecting a dividend of 4.50 euros,
according to the SmartEstimate of Thomson Reuters StarMine,
which weights analyst estimates according to their previous
accuracy.

Sep 23, 2014

Belgian artist asks court to rule on whether former king is her father

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A Belgian artist who says she is the daughter of Belgium’s former king asked a court on Tuesday to establish the identity of her biological father, a ruling that could put her fifteenth in line to the throne.

Delphine Boel, 46, has fought for more than a decade to gain the royal family’s acceptance and end what she says is prejudice against her because of the question over her paternity.

    • About Phil

      "I am responsible for Reuters news out of Belgium and Luxembourg, which has led to many long nights outside parliament in Brussels awaiting news of fraught coalition talks and state bailouts of Belgian banks. I have previously worked in London, Amsterdam, where my work included consumer electronics group Philips and the Lockerbie trial, and Berlin, where I covered the Hamburg trials of suspected September 11 conspirators."
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