Belgium in Brief: Election hate messages, bank scams and tourist accidents abroad
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    Belgium in Brief: Election hate messages, bank scams and tourist accidents abroad

    Thursday, 22 August 2019

    The recent election saw an increase in the number of complaints about hate messages, Belgium’s women’s football team gets a fan village for home games and Vlaams Belang wants to let pregnant women park in handicapped spots.

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

    1. Twice as many hate messages recorded during recent election period

    The anti-discrimination agency Unia received 740 complaints of hate messages in the first six months of this year, double the 369 received in the first half of last year. The organisation attributes the increase to the approach and aftermath of the federal, regional and European elections in May. Read more

    2. Police warn of phone scams with bank card readers

    ❎❎La victime est contactée par téléphone par une personne se faisant passer pour un.e employé.e des institutions…

    Posted by ZP Montgomery PZ on Monday, August 19, 2019

    In a Facebook post, the Montgomery police zone said people impersonating EU or Microsoft staff or an employee of private insurance companies were calling bank users telling them they were entitled to a refund of a few hundred euros. Read more.

    3. Belgian schoolchildren unharmed after highway chain collision crash

    A group of Belgian schoolchildren escaped injury after the bus they were travelling on was involved in a chain collision crash during a school trip to the Netherlands on Wednesday. Read more.

    4. Far-right party wants to let pregnant women park in handicapped spots

    The far-right Vlaams Belang (VB) party is seeking to allow late-term pregnant women to park in handicapped spaces after it introduced a bill to the Chamber on Thursday. Read more.

    5. Minimum wage for working prisoners raised by the government

    Working prisoners will receive a higher minimum wage as of next year. They will earn at least € 0.75 per hour, even if guards on strike prevent them from performing their tasks, De Tijd wrote on Thursday. Read more.

    6. Fan zone created for Belgian women’s football home games

    A fan area around the Den Dreef Stadium in Leuven will be set up for the Red Flames’ four home games for the women’s Euro 2021, the Belgian Football Association (URBSFA) announced on Thursday. Read more.

    7. Belgian tourists heavily burned after boat explodes

    Five Belgian holidaymakers have been hospitalised with severe burns after their motorboat burst into flames as it was leaving the port of the Spanish town of Benicarló. Read more.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times