Belgium in Brief: Delay your train, ‘ghost’ town and 40.7 degrees!
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    Belgium in Brief: Delay your train, ‘ghost’ town and 40.7 degrees!

    Friday, 26 July 2019

    Belgium follows the rest of Europe and reaches a new hottest day ever, train service across the country returns to normal – but Thalys is still disrupted – and a tour of a Belgian ghost town.

    Here’s a recap of the news you should know in Belgium this morning:

    1. Belgian heatwave: Thalys train service disrupted until the weekend

    Thalys trains will only be able to resume normal service from this weekend, the company’s spokesman said. As a result, the company is advising travellers not to travel today. Read more

    2. Belgium hits a new highest temperature ever

    The country saw 40 degrees in all provinces except Namur and Luxembourg, according to reports. The highest temperatures were recorded in Beitem (40.7 degrees), Kleine Brogel (40.6 degrees) and Diepenbeek (40.4 degrees).Read more.

    3. Trains in Belgium return to normal, but might not stay that way 

    Rail provider SNCB is taking a series of preventive measures to ensure that rail traffic runs smoothly on Friday despite the high temperatures. However, an incident cannot be ruled out, said spokesman Dimitri Temmerman. Read more.

    4. Condemned and abandoned: The Belgian ghost town which refuses to disappear

    The village of Doel ‒ situated on the Scheldt River in Flanders ‒ was meant to be destroyed in favour of progress. That didn’t happen. Antwerp’s economic boom in the 20th century saw its port in need of expansion. Doel and its surrounding areas thus quickly became a target for demolition, a plan which was defeated through popular protests from the 1970s through the 1990s. Read more.

    5. First forced deportation from Charleroi airport

    An illegal immigrant has been forcibly deported from Charleroi airport for the first time, Sudpresse reports on Friday. The operation was carried out a few weeks ago and is a test, according to the federal police.  Read more

    6. With thousands of e-scooters on the streets, Brussels tries to limit the chaos

    Nearly 5,000 e-scooters inhabit Brussels, and nearly 1,300 of those arrived since this past June. How is Brussels going to cope? It set up a committee. Read more

    7. European Commission initiates legal action against Belgium

    The European Commission has initiated three legal actions against Belgium for not transposing a directive, failing to implement regulations, and not adapting its legislation to a European Court of Justice ruling, charges which, in some cases, come with heavy fines. Read more.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times