Brussels:Policemen Detained For Robbing Foreigners

The Belgium police force

Policemen checking documents in Brussels

Has history repeated itself in Belgium? Just a couple of weeks ago, the  Antwerp’s police were involved in a scandal of defrauding foreigners, now from Brussels comes a report over two officers arrested for stealing from foreigners. The policemen stopped  two drivers, a Romanian and a Polish on the ring road, ransacked their trucks and confiscated a total amount of 5,300 Euro they found in their trucks.

“Scandals and frauds exist in Belgium’s Police Force”

The two officers thought the foreign drivers will not make a complaint to the police but they were wrong, especially since there have been  multiple of similar incidents. The Belgian authority considered the case very serious since the two policemen involved were in uniforms for committing such a crime.

Last month two police officers were arrested in Antwerp for similar incidence, as they looked for illegal immigrants to take money from them with the threat of deportation. Antwerp’s mayor, Bart De Wever spoke  about the demeaning factors in the history of the police force.

The Brussels’ police chief Guido Van Wymeersch sharply condemned this act . The police force is not happy over this incident, especially in such a critical time when the police is busy with the recent Zaventem and Metro stations bombing by terrorists in Brussels.

The difference between the two incidences which took place in Brussels and Antwerp is that the Antwerp agents used physical violence against their victims. The police may look different when in uniforms but they are normal human beings prone to sin like everyone. But it really undermines and questions their integrity  when instead of protecting the public they involved in such scandals.

New Threat Of Terrorism Overshadows Antwerp

Antwerp 3

Meir, one of the busiest commercial centers in the city of Antwerp.

Following the Brussels’ Zaventem airport and Metro station attacks by terrorists,  which claimed lives and caused injuries, a group of terrorists claiming to be ISIS, posted a message on Facebook that: “Antwerp will never have a good sleep,” since then the Antwerp police have increased security to bring comfort to ‘Antwerpners’ amidst fear.

In today’s (8/4/2016) edition of Gazette Van Antwerpen, one of Belgium’s newspapers, reports that extra security is now in force, with heavily armed police, protecting citizens, after a mother warns the Antwerp police that her son has joined the Syrian fighters.

According to the woman, the intention of her son is to join other terrorists to target the famous commercial center Meir, City festival centers, and cinemas, to kill and destroy. Antwerp’s police boss Wouter Bruyns has confirmed the story.

The police have therefore issued a warning to everyone to keep away from Meir, one of the busiest shopping centers in Antwerp, and entertainment spots to avoid any bloodshed. Even though the mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, is working hand in hand with the police, to provide extra security throughout the city, many people are still afraid, because of the violent and unpredictable nature of the terrorists.

Antwerp 1

Part of the beauty of Antwerp’s Meir at a glance.

Already, the Belgian government has lost millions of revenue, following the closure of the Zaventem airport for a number of days, to restore the badly affected halls at the airport. Now that activities at Meir, one of the busiest commercial centers in the city, has been halted, no one can predict  how bad it’s going to affect Belgium’s economy or the Province of Antwerp.

Antwerp Under The Administration of Mayor Bart De Wever

Could Bart De Wever be the best mayor of Antwerp?

The major of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and writer Joel Savage

The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and the writer, Joel Savage. Photo:@Kouablan Dominique.

Not quite long in Belgium, but fifteen years in Antwerp is enough to write a narrative essay, whenever I meet this challenge at an examination hall. Even though Antwerp is a famous city, known for its rich diamond collection and flourishing seaport, in the early 2000’s, the city was very rough and unsafe for both tourists and citizens.

It was this period Leona Detiége, a Belgian politician and member of the Flemish social-democratic party, then mayor of Antwerp, did her best to tackle the problems destroying the reputation of the city of Antwerp, as a tourist attraction center.

She swung into action, focusing on the notorious places, such as De Conincksplein, a neighbourhood that harboured all criminal activities, including drug peddling, prostitution, bag snatching, pickpockets, pimps etc, and De Falconplein, another notorious neighbourhood, serving as a red light district for prostitutes, pimps, and drug couriers.

Her undertakings weren’t just a bluff, it did really paralyzed the prostitution industry. Many prostitutes were arrested and deported to their countries of origin and the pimp industry collapsed. The Antwerp police received a letter from a group calling themselves ‘The Nigerian Mafia,’ threatening and ready to fight the police to death, for taking their prostitutes off the streets.

Leona stationed a mobile police van at the center of Conincksplein 24 hours daily, and all the nefarious activities and crimes subsided. Apart from that Leona made it uneasy for landlords that stole money from tenants. It was a period, criminal-landlords was known as ‘huismelkers’ were making a lot of money from tenants. Like a farmer milking his cow, they steal the three months guarantee paid by tenants. Her actions worked and totally reduced this menace which had taken over Antwerp.

Unfortunately, all the hard efforts of Leona came to a fruitless end, when she left office and Patrick Janssens, a member of the SP.a, succeeded her, as the next mayor of Antwerp. Patrick Janssens probably thought the best way to serve Antwerp, is be friendly with everyone. It was his time drug peddling, which Leona had fought to subdue, increased significantly.

There was time, Moroccans in Antwerp, believe or thought the city is for them. They drive, stop on the street, talk to friends, with a long queue of traffic behind them. Who dares to talk? You will be surrounded and if the police are not around, you will be beaten mercilessly.

At Schijnpoort, a neighbourhood in Antwerp, a Belgium driving, stops and asks a Moroccan for help, as he couldn’t find a street he was looking for. As soon as his window came down, right in front of me, the Moroccan accumulated a thick saliva in his mouth and spits onto the face of the driver. He picks up a tissue paper, wipes the saliva from his face and drove away. My heart ached when I witnessed this scene.

Under the administration of Patrick Janssens,   the situation in Antwerp grew from bad to worse. More drug trafficking at coffee shops run by foreigners. By the time he decides to take drastic action, it was too late. The people in Antwerp are fed up and really want a change.

I will always remember Patrick Janssens for saving the citizens of Antwerp from dog’s waste explosion. It was a period one always comes home with a dog’s waste because they are everywhere. He did well to impose a fine against dog owners that leave dogs’ waste in the city after excretion.

The coming in of  Bart De Wever, the leader of N-VA party, as the mayor of Antwerp, took many by surprise. As a politician who has dreams including the creation of an independent state for the province of Antwerp, many don’t like him much, but that didn’t prevent him from winning the seat as mayor of Antwerp.

The man knows that coming into office as a mayor is not all that is important but one’s achievement. De Wever is destined to carve his name as one of the best or probably the best mayor in the political history of Belgium. Since he assumed office, De Wever has done a lot within the shortest period many past mayors couldn’t achieve.

In regard to security and safety, Antwerp is now a safe city any time of the day, including night. Conincksplein, which used to be a dangerous place in Antwerp, is now a safe community for citizens.

The newly completed library adds glamour to the beauty of the area. Antwerp also remains clean since the administration introduced fine for litterers. Alcohol forbidden zones are now in force within the city.

Despite all his achievements, many still don’t agree with him. Some say he is a good man or bad man, others think he is wicked, but whatever name they call him, there is no doubt that Bart De Wever is the best mayor Antwerp has ever got or probably the best in the political history of Belgium.

Vlaamse Journalisten Vereniging (Flemish Journalists Association) Celebrates Golden Jubilee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, delivering his speech yesterday. Standing close is the Chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter van den Branden. Photo copyright @ Joel Savage.

It’s an exciting time for the Vlaamse Journalisten Veregniging, as the association holds its end of year press conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015,  at the District House, the main official building of the mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever.  

The association, which continue to grow, remain always adaptable, motivated and responsive, end of year’s press conference coincided with the celebration of the association’s golden jubilee.

At 12.00 pm, the chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter Van Den Branden, welcome all the members of the association into the office. After a quick refreshment, Bart De Wever was received by the chairman.

After giving his speech, he gave the platform to the mayor. Like always he shows his experience as a powerful and motivational speaker. He sheds light on his work as a politician, that many are displeased which caused a little laughter.

Like every formidable association, the Flemish Journalists Association, in the past fifty years, works and maintains close relationship with its members, in the fields of freelancing, media entrepreneurs, cartoonists, newspapers and radio journalists.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Members of the Flemish Journalists Association. Photo Copyright@ Joel Savage.

The Flemish Journalists Association, also maintains close contacts with local authorities, engages in training  and carry out essential qualities needed to journalists to maintain successful careers.

From the mayor’s office, further activities of the association and dinner, took place at the Hotel Ramadan in Antwerp. I have attended many end of year press conferences of the Flemish Journalists Association, but this year’s occasion was exceptional.

After dinner, some of the members retired to bed in the hotel and others left home with free parcels distributed by the association’s secretary Hilde Van Gool.

Antwerp Now Free From Dogs’ Waste Explosion

Can animals take away their own waste?

A dog cleans up own Poop. Can that teach the animal a lesson to do it at the right place?

Antwerp is one of the famous cities in Belgium, not only because The Port of Antwerp is one of the busiest port in the world, with over 150,000 people daily handling operations, but it used to be one of the dirtiest cities, with dogs waste at every corner, pavements and sometimes in front of shops.

Be careful when walking in Antwerp decade ago, trust me, you will surely come home with a stinking unfriendly guest. Dog’s Poop. The situation became worst as dog owners don’t care to clean up the mess when they walk with their dogs until the authorities came up with “Dog walkers without ‘poop bags’ face fines.”

Today, I can assure you that the rule which came into existence has cut down on the problem of fouling in the city. There are more major changes under the administration of the present Mayor Of Antwerp, the NV-A party leader Bart De Wever, that makes the city more enjoyable.

Here is an article written in Spanish over the same problem: LA CIUDAD CON MAS MIERDAS DE PERRO

https://superduque777.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/sevilla/