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magazine flanders today
          #        2        7        9 Flanders today    ` ci  pg 3 may 8, 2013 ree newsweekly www.landerstoday.eu    e            n   n   i   n   g   s   n                  P   7   0   8   8   1   6 2   6  bi 7  cic & ci 9  ivig 13   14  g   Mat pat  A cooking contest justfor foreigners founda fusion of Belgianand internationaldishes  9 It’s no contradiction anymore to go looking or silence in a bustlingcity like Brussels, though silence or many is more than just theabsence o noise. It’s a way o lie. A new project called bessst helpspeople discover silence in the city; music venue Ancienne Belgique isone o its partners and presses home the message with the concertseries Silence is Sexy.  he rector o Saint Peter’s parish in East Blatchington, a coastal village in England, must have been surprised earlier this year when he heard that the rst release o the CD Te Sound of Silence had quickly sold out. Ater a short introduction, the album islled with 30 minutes o ambient sounds, recorded in the 12th-century church.Recording silence might seem like the equivalent o bottling resh air,but silence is hot. Seven years ago, Tom Breukel wrote a silent guideto Amsterdam, several cities now oer “silence walks” and, closer tohome, there’s Waerbeke, a socio-cultural organisation promoting silence and quality o lie in Flanders and Brussels. ogether withBrussels secretary o state Bruno De Lille, it created bessst, whichstands or:  Brussel, erfgoed en stilte (Brussels, heritage and silence).“Waerbeke has been operating mostly in the Flemish rural areas, butthanks to bessst, we can develop initiatives in the capital,” explainsbessst project leader Christel Dusoleil. “Te countryside looks like thenatural environment to work on silence and quietness. Implementing the same in a bustling city like Brussels is a whole dierent challenge.On the other hand, the need or tranquillity might be more urgentthere. Academic studies conrm that quiet is highly important or people’s well-being.” Attitu hit rac, construction sites, blasting music and people shouting: Forsome it might be dicult to see Brussels as a place o silence. Dusoleildoesn’t agree: “I live in the city, and I’ve discovered loads o spaces where it’s really quiet. I agree you have to take some detours to discoverthem, they’re probably not on your usual route, but it’s worthwhilelooking or them.”Bessst helps nd them. With two partners – Brukselbinnenstebuiten, which oers alternative guided tours o Brussels, and rage Wegen, which protects and maintains ootpaths – it has mapped out someroutes that allow you to discover quiet spots: Trough small, almostunnoticeable, alleyways via squares where the only sound is a ag apping in the wind, to oases o green where you can still enjoy thesinging o the birds. Dusoleil: “At some places it’s as quiet as in thecountry.” Sicis g Bt i pmtin th at inc in Bu, hi thAncinn Biqu i appyin it Chitph Vbit     ©    f      c      2   f      c       /   B   e   l    G   a Fiht tainp  A dramatic explosion nearWetteren sends plumes oftoxic smoke into the air  4  FlanderS today  may 8, 2013 2 news N in bi Te hotly contested Sinksenoor airin Antwerp will take place ater all atits srcinal location on the GedempteZuiderdokken, the city council hasannounced, ater local residentsagreed to withdraw their objectionsin return or a promise that it willbe given a new location in uture.Six locals had obtained an interiminterdict rom an Antwerp court, which orced the city to move theair, which begins later this monthand runs or seven weeks. However,an attempt to relocate the air tothe avenues along the riverbank met with protests rom residents there.Te new minister-president o the Brussels-Capital Region isRudi Vervoort, ormer mayor o theEvere commune and until recently chairman o the Brussels sectiono the French-speaking socialist party PS. Vervoort, 54, is the son o a French-speaking mother and aDutch-speaking ather and replacesCharles Picqué, who returns to his post as mayor o Sint-Gillis. Works on a new  trac-reeBeursplein in Brussels shouldbegin in 2015, ater the completiono an impact and mobility study,city mayor Freddy Tielemans said.Cars will be diverted through nearby streets, leaving a pedestrian zonebetween the Steenstraat and DeBrockèreplein. Another action by Picnic the Street activists will take place in support o the proposal on9 June – exactly one year ater therst such action attracted more than2,000 supporters.Te justice system in Belgium doesnot make investigation o rape a  priority  , with barely our cases in 100resulting in a conviction, according toLiesbet Stevens, proessor o criminallaw at the University o Leuven. According to a recent report on theV news magazine  Koppen , 75%o DNA material connected to rapecases is never investigated, whileother cases are allowed to drag on or years. At the same time, the numbero rapes is increasing steadily to 50 a week on average, Stevens said.Te government o Flanders shouldestablish a guarantee system to allow savers to invest in the economicrelaunch o Limburg province , thelocal chamber o commerce Voka has proposed. Te deposits in savingsaccounts in Flanders continue togrow, even while the returns dwindle, Voka chair Paul Kumpen said. “I thegovernment can oer a nancialguarantee, there is nothing standing in the way o the ordinary citizeninvesting in a co-operative. Tereturn would always be higher thanthat oered by a savings account.”Te Kazerne Dossin Museum onthe Holocaust and Human Rightsin Mechelen is in urgent need o more staf and unding    rom theFlemish government, according toconservator Herman Van Goethem.Te museum, on the site o a ormerbarracks rom where more than25,000 people were deported to thedeath camps during the occupation,opened last September. “Te food o schools and visitors rom home andabroad is so huge that we desperately need extra money and people,” VanGoethem said. “I ear we may have togo on our knees to Brussels to beg ormore money because we can’t go onlike this.”Te special support unit o the Antwerp police has led alegal complaint calling or an investigation into how videoootage o the last hours o a man who died in custody came into thehands o the VR. In February, the  Panorama programme showedootage o the beating o Jonathan Jacob, who died in the cell aterwards.Te ocers involved now acecharges, but their counsel ears a airtrial is no longer possible because o the partial version o events shown inthe CCV video.German chancellor  Angela Merkel will be in Brussels on 22 May to receive the second annual Jakobovits Prize, Brussels’ chie rabbi Albert Guigui announced. Merkel was nominated or her “positiveapproach” towards the Jewishcommunity in Germany. “She hasalways taken up a position againstevery orm o racism,” said the rabbi.Belgians ate just over 30kg o meaton average in 2012, a decrease o 3.6% on the year beore, according to a study carried out or theFlemish centre or agricultural andsheries (Vlam). Te most popularmeat was pork, ollowed by chickenand bee, while lamb and muttonsaw the astest-growing levels o consumption. Te consumption o animal protein eaten in the country is made up o 87.7% meat and only 12.3% sh, Vlam said.Residents in the Brusselsmunicipalities o Koekelberg,Ganshoren and parts o Molenbeek are now able to connect to theinternet via the aster 4G network  ,despite the stricter radiation limitsin Brussels that have so ar preventedoperators rom introducing theservice in the capital. Te reason:Flemish municipalities on the periphery o Brussels operate undermore relaxed limits, and their signalsare able to reach users living on theedge o the city.Nine people died and our wereseriously injured in accidentson railway crossings in 2012,according to the ederal ministeror government enterprises. In total,56 accidents took place, o which 17involved a truck, almost exclusively in the Antwerp port area. Fouraccidents involved a cyclist, three pedestrians and 43 a car. Te railnetwork has 1,857 crossings. Flemish musicians on theinternational stage are ew and arbetween, which makes Stan LeeCole’s achievement on 30 April, when he won Best Perormancein the International Songwriting Competition (ISC), all the moreremarkable. He’s the secondBelgian to have ever done it; therst was Gotye, who was born inBruges but grew up in Australia.Perorming artists take the ISC,in the US city o Nashville, very seriously: Te judges or thelatest edition include no less thanom Waits – the songwriter’ssongwriter – Simon Le Bon andRoger aylor o Duran Duran, Je Beck, NAS, Robert Smith, Bernieaupin, Suzanne Vega, JohnMayall and Janelle Monae. Antwerp-born Stan Lee Cole(real name Stijn Cole) won orthe perormance o his song “Separated” rom the album  Devil’s     Ringtone . It’s his rst soloalbum ollowing the 2010 releaseo a CD by his band O the Record.  Devil’s Ringtone is a solo albumin the strictest sense: It consistso only (human) beatbox, Moog bass, piano and vocal, and Cole isresponsible or all o them. He also produced and mixed the album.His multiple talents can be seenon the VIER programme Scheire   en   de   schepping  , where he servesas resident one-man orchestra.Te result is a spare, intimatesound – sometimes painully so. While Cole sings in English with an unnatural Americanaccent, there’s no doubting hissongwriting skill. Te winning track is lyrically clever and atthe same time emotionally exposed and vulnerable, slightly reminiscent o Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. In anexception to the one-man rule,Cole is accompanied on vocals by his daughter Mira, aged nine atthe time. Te CD ailed, however, to attractthe attention o record labels, soCole placed it online or a reedownload. Tat’s the way it’sgoing to stay now, internationalsuccess or not. “It would be abit stupid to change it now justbecause I won a prize” he told  De    Morgen . Te album will appearon iunes later this month. “So people can decide or themselvesi they want to give some nancialsupport or not.” ` www.stan-lee-cole.com Aan Hp FACe oF FlANders stan l C Te government should be growing marijuana andmaking it available on a tightly controlled market,according to Proessor Jan ytgat, a toxicologist at theUniversity o Leuven.His reasoning is simple: Coee houses in theNetherlands are no longer allowed to sell their wares tonon-residents, orcing Belgian users to rely on home-grown sources, with the result that hardly a week goes by without some new massive plantation being discovered by police.Te benets o legalising marijuana “are that theconcentration o the active ingredient is known, thatthere are no pesticides or other rubbish present andthat users are able to obtain their dose in a completely legal manner,” ytgat told the VR.In addition, the enterprise would bring in money orthe government in the orm o excise duties such asthose levied on cigarettes and alcohol – both o whichare, according to supporters o legalisation, ar moredangerous both to the user and to society than iscannabis.Te Dutch are the only Europeans to havedecriminalised cannabis (under ever stricterconditions). Belgian law still technically orbids the possession and use o it, although a 2005 circular romthen-justice minister Laurette Onkelinx made it clearthat police and magistrates were to give the lowest priority to the prosecution o cases o possession or personal use by adults.Since the production and sale, however, are stillillegal, adult users still have to come into contact withcriminals at some point – a risk more dangerous, many say, than the eects o the drug.Onkelinx, now public health minister, declined to rulethe idea out. “We need to consider this careully withexperts,” she said. “But there is certainly something going wrong with our policy, with potentially dangerous consequences.” Bin’ in th in Aan Hp oFFsIde Fan Tay, a  y enih-anuanpap, i an initiativ  th Fmih rinan i fnanciay uppt by th Fmih authiti. th g  h   t bg  h ih rgi (BxB  815.088). th ii    t h  ii gig h c  h pp  i pib   c, ip i h g b Ci Pbihig  h ih hii. FlANders TodAY edITor li Bh dePUTY edITor sy tippe News edITor a Hpe AgeNdA rby Bye, Gegi Vei ArT dIreCTor Pu V de PrePress Cei aP CoNTrIBUTors d Bue, rebeccBe, rby Bye, le Ceicz, age Chbe, sbie Cppe, kyde, ay fuiee, di Gi,t lbech, kie lie, mcme, I mue, aj oe, t Peee,see scx, li thp, Gegi Vei, Chiphe Vebie, dezi w geNerAl MANAger H de le PUBlIsHer Cei Pubihig nV edITorIAl Address G 30 - 1702 G-Bijg 02 373 99 09 - x 02 375 98 22ii@. Free sUBsCrIPTIoNs bcipi@. ig p i  .. AdVerTIsINg  ev g02 373 83 57viig@. VerANTwoordelIjke UITgeVer H d l     ©    I   n   g   i         g     FlanderS today  may 8, 2013 3 cover story Sure, absolute silence is a antasy (and maybe even a curse), butbessst is looking or more than justacoustic silence, Dusoleil explains.“Our project is about tranquillity,too: silence as an attitude. It’s a philosophical question. Tat’s why  we also stress the poetry or thebeauty o silence.”Quitting lie in the ast lane, albeitonly temporarily, is also a orm o silence. “It can be about simplethings. Why not try walking insteado using your car when you movethrough the city?”Bessst doesn’t have the nancialmeans to set up new projects, thoughthey hope that in the uture it willbe possible. But it’s not a handicap,since they are collaborating witha number o organisations. “We’relinking up organisations or evenindividual artists, and we’re giving them a platorm,” explains Dusoleil.“It might help them to reach a wider audience or even make their projects stronger. For instance, orthe bessst routes, we worked withBrukselbinnenstebuiten and rage Wegen, two organisations that probably wouldn’t otherwise work together. We’re the hyphen.” jyu inc Bessst is clearly promoting a positive view o silence. And that mightbe necessary, since silence is stilltoo oten conceived as something negative. How oten has a silencebeen described as painul? A quick internet search or “painul silence”and “joyul silence” shows that theormer has 20 times more links thanthe latter.Dusoleil, ater a moment o silence(really): “O course, painul silencesexist – ater an argument, orinstance. Tat doesn’t take anything away rom silence also being joyulor touching. A minute o silenceto commemorate an event orsomeone’s passing can be very connecting. But it’s true, we’re soused to having a continuous inputo sounds and impulses in our daily lives that we don’t realise it anymore.So it takes an active decision to shutit down and search or silence.”I don’t want to sound cynical,but i bessst becomes a success itmight undermine its own goals. I suddenly a whole mass o peoplestart looking or silent spots in thecity, the silence might be drownedin sound. “We have thought o that,”smiles Dusoleil. “But we’re still a young project, and it’s one o ourchallenges to not let that happen.I think it must be possible to keepquiet places quiet, regardless o thenumber o people visiting them. AndI don’t think we have to be araid o noise; it’s inherent to a city.” Whispering, she adds: “It’s not like we can’t raise our voices anymore. What we want is to inuence people’s attitudes.” sinc i sy One o bessst’s partners is theBrussels concert hall AncienneBelgique (AB). wo years ago, itlaunched the concert series SilenceIs Sexy, which ocuses on musicians who blur the borders between pop, electronic and contemporary classical music. “From the start,Silence Is Sexy was successul, with500 to 700 people per show,” saysKurt Overbergh, the AB’s artisticdirector.How does he explain silence at alargely rock concert hall being sosuccessul? “I always nd it dicultto answer those questions, butI see one element that certainly  plays a role. In this day and age, you constantly need to be online:wittering, Instagramming,Facebooking. And I’m guilty ascharged, too. But this has led toa desire or tranquillity, and thesuccess o Silence Is Sexy is areaction against that continuousstream o impulses.” At the moment, the collaboration with bessst is small scale, but they have a bigger plan or the autumn.Overbergh: “Te last weekendo October, we move the clock backwards an hour or daylightsavings: 3.00 becomes 2.00. During that dead, non-existing hour we want to put on a project aboutsilence. It’s not 100% sure yet whatit’ll be, but we’ll do something inthe AB during that hour. It’s an idearom bessst that I immediately doveinto.” Cntinuu muic But rst, there is Silence Is Sexy,eaturing as its most amous perormer the German Nils Frahm.“He’s a pianist and composer who plays very emotional music,”says Overbergh. “He also has animportant recording studio. I think in a ew years we will really realisehow important he is or the music o this decade.”But Silence is Sexy is also anopportunity to discover new names,like Lubomyr Melnyk. Never heardo him? You’re not alone. “Until aew months ago, I didn’t know theguy either,” smiles Overbergh. “He’sa Ukrainian piano player aged 65 who, in the 1970s, wrote a maniestoabout continuous piano music:He keeps on playing and doesn’t want silence between the notes. Iknow, this seems to contradict oursilence is sexy idea, but believe me,it doesn’t. His work is very relaxing.” Another recent discovery orOverbergh is the German Denovalilabel. “I’m very impressed by theirreleases: I received a whole pile o CDs and literally all o them wereinteresting and inspiring. So weattributed two nights o Silence IsSexy to them.”o end, a personal question: How does the artistic director o the AB himsel deal with his desire orsilence? “I don’t walk through thecity anymore with earphones: I want to hear the sound o the city.I commute rom Antwerp, and thetrain ride is the only moment o theday when I can peaceully listen tomusic, since my days are lled withmeetings, answering emails and soon. At home, I have the time to listento music, too, but the bedroom is ano-go zone or music, and I’ll nevertake music with me when I go onholiday.” ` .b.b  ` .bcc.b Sic is g Bu aniatin ut tain activ mau t imit th input in u iv   ` ci  pg 1Cp lb m, ni h  Ppp ac  p  p  h sic i sx i  aB ai  B Pjc Bch hv  p ii g h b       h , icig “qi cbi”, bch hich    hi   h Jic Pcth si  i   h b pc i B  f  i pc  qi     ©    P      t         B      o   d         i   c       ©    k      t    G   o         o   c     FlanderS today  may 8, 2013 4 news  An elderly man died, 33 peoplewere taken to hospital and a550-metre perimeter was evacuatedwhen a reight train carrying toxicsubstances derailed near Wetterenin East Flanders at the weekend.The train exploded and caught fre,sending clouds o toxic vapour intothe atmosphere.   wo people were still in intensivecare as  Flanders Today  went to press due to the accident. A 550-metre area surrounding  Wetteren, Serskamp and Schellebelle was evacuated, and people living  within a one-kilometre radius wereadvised to keep doors and windowsclosed. More homes were laterevacuated when it was reported thattoxic substances had been washedby re service hoses into the sewers,rom where the vapours could enterhouses.Te derailment took place in theearly hours o Saturday morning,and the rst images show a restormagainst the night sky. Te cause o theaccident has yet to be determined.“Something went wrong with one o the points,” said Inrabel spokesmanFrederic Petit, “but exactly what it was will have to be investigated.Petit also said that there was “clearevidence” that the Dutch driver o the German goods train had notcommited any error.Te train was on its way rom theNetherlands to the port o Ghent.Investigators have recovered thetrain’s “black box”, which they hope will help determine the cause o theaccident. Txic cmpun Te train was carrying tanks o acrylonitrile, a highly fammableand toxic compound used inthe manuacture o plastics, andbutadiene, a carcinogenic chemicalused to make synthetic rubber. Te wagons containing acrylonitrilecaught re, but those containing butadiene did not. Acrylonitrile gives o hydrogencyanide umes when it combusts.Emergency services were alertor leaks which could allow thebutadiene gas to escape. Te gascauses irritation to the respiratory  passages i breathed in.Te re service rom Beveren allowedthe chemicals in the tanks to burno in a controlled re, so that urther vapours would not be created. Telast o the re was extinguishedaround 18.00 on Saturday, but reghters continued to apply layers o oam to speed up cooling o the metaltanks.Meanwhile, police closed o thecentre o Wetteren, and the civil protection service installed a high- pressure water line rom the Scheldtthrough the centre o town to the siteo the accident. Provincial governor Jan Briers put the provincial action plan into operation. s cntaminatin Despite precautions, some o thetoxic material contaminated thesurrounding area. Initial readingsor the presence o chemicals wereattributed to hose water having  washed some contaminants into thesewers. Te water pumping station was closed down and the sewer linesthoroughly sluiced out.Further readings on the suraceshowed that the contamination wascoming rom another source than thesewers. Measurements later showedlower readings, but the ull extento the contamination is still underinvestigation.Flemish minister-president KrisPeeters issued a statement praising the emergency services. “My thoughtsalso go out to all those who live inthe area who were evacuated and arenow sae with riends and amily or intemporary shelter,” he said.Te last o the evacuees were allowedto go home on Monday, more than48 hours ater the accident. “We preer not to take any risks,” saidBriers. “Everyone has to be personally accompanied back to their home, andthere have to be new readings takeninside the houses,” he said.Briers also warned that urtherevacuations could take place on Wednesday or Tursday this week  when the train wreck is removedrom the scene. “We’ll take account o  people living nearby and carry it out when most people are not at home,between 9.00 and 17.00.” A second autopsy is being carried outon the man who died, who has not yet been named. He was ound in hishome with his dog, which had alsodied. Te rst autopsy conrmed hehad inhaled a toxic substance.Finally, Flemish environment minister Joke Schauvliege held a meeting onMonday o the government’s rangeo environmental services or aninitial evaluation o the situationin Wetteren. Te meeting includesthe crisis manager, experts rom theFlemish Environment Agency (VMM),the public waste materials agency OVAM and the water puricationagency Aquan.“Our services were placed this weekend at the disposal o theinterior ministry, which is ultimately responsible,” Schauvliege said. “We will be discussing the consequencesor people and or biodiversity, thoughI am not expecting an immediateanswer to any questions that may arise.”NMBS railway services will continueto be disrupted at least until the weekend, particularly or stoptrains travelling between Ghent andDendermonde and between Brusselsand Ghent. Passengers can check  www.railtime.be or call a specialnumber designated or questions: 02528 28 28. An inormation number has alsobeen set up or residents o the areaaected by the crash: 052 432 443. 25.8mm o rain in April, comparedto an annual average o 53mm. Tere were ninedays o rain, comparedto an average o 17 days €300 miin subsidy that will be paid each year to bpostuntil 2015 by the ederalgovernment, with theapproval o the EuropeanCommission given last week  754 non EU-citizens were nedin 2012 or reusing toollow an integration courserequired by the governmento Flanders. Te averagene amounted to €91.96 €19.6 miin saved on energy billsin the coming 2.5 yearsby the province o Limburg, the towns inthe province, churchesand police zones, thanksto a collective purchaseo gas and electricity  83.9% o small businesses thatapplied or loans in2012 were able to obtainthem, according to astudy by the University o  Antwerp, contradicting a common complaintrom the business world enuh biny Christian-democrats have areputation or being woolly. As a people’s party, almost always in power, CD&V’s views are otena compromise, with plenty o nuance. Its leaders are otenmocked or this, especially whenthey use phrases such as “on theone hand, on the other hand”.In the past, this lack o adenitive view made theChristian-democrats a party  with which many could agree.Tese days, however, voters preer decisive stands. N-VA is particularly good at this, butCD&V had yet to come to terms with this new reality. In the words o its president, WouterBeke, his party “lacked a story”. When he set out to “renew” the party – a process every Flemish party goes through every somany years – Beke chose notto stick to general principles, which in CD&V’s case wouldinevitable be woolly again, asthe “personalism” in whichChristian-democrats believecannot be explained in one ortwo simple phrases.Instead, with the renewaloperation named Innesto,CD&V is moving away romanything too hazy. A group o “high potentials” has come up with a list o concrete proposals,oten touching upon long-standing taboos.One is to do away with thehousing bonus, a system by  which homeowners can deductrom their taxes the costsrelated to home buying orbuilding. Flemings are notoriousor having “a brick in the belly”,homeownership being theambition o almost all amilies.Te housing bonus has madethis ambition within the reacho a large part o the population. As the system has become tooexpensive, scrapping it may beinevitable. But popular it willnever be. Another taboo is theappointment o  ambtenaren , ortenured civil servants, a systemthat guarantees them lielong employment and generous pensions. While most agreethat this is outdated, abolishing it, as CD&V proposes, is easiersaid than done. Te same thing goes or reducing the two monthschool holiday to just six weekso in summer. Many peoplebelieve this is a good idea, butnothing will probably comeo it, with the tourism sector,teachers’ unions and some parents disagreeing.So ar, the reactions to CD&V’s proposals have been mostly negative – one disadvantage o being concrete. Whether therenewal will also renew CD&V’selectoral success remains tobe seen. But or now, WouterBeke deserves credit or theclarity with which he speaks,something entirely new to his party. THe week IN FIgUresFIFTHColUMN Ana ott txic igh xpsi es Fs on man i an 33 a hpitai at n aimnt Aan Hp dAMAged PoINTs sYsTeM David Geerts, chairman o thespecial committee on rail saety,called on Inrabel to report onits conclusions on the causes o the accident as soon as possible. Allegations have emerged thata damaged points system, or junction where trains switchtracks, had been repeatedly reported to the company withoutaction being taken.“Among other things, I want toknow i there have been problems with the points in the past andat what speed the train wastravelling,” said Geerts. “Wereall saety precautions being respected in this transport?” Healso called or a report on saety  precautions taken or rail workers who were sent to the scene o theaccident. th xpi i h  ig h  s c pcc   p  xic   w  © B  e l    g  a 
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