Connect with us

Belgium

Brussels sees launch of new #Monopoly

Published

on

Here’s an offer you might find hard to resist – buying the European Parliament and NATO’s new state-of-the-art HQ in Brussels, writes Martin Banks.

Both are up for grabs – at least on the new Monopoly board which has just been launched.

A brand new Brussels version of the kids’ favourite  features some of the city’s best-known tourist spots.

Being the self-proclaimed “capital of Europe” this naturally includes the Parliament and NATO.

For those already plotting their best moves, the good news is that neither – perhaps surprisingly – are the highest priced properties on the board. That “honour” is taken by the Grand Place, including the City Hall (the most expensive property) and the Royal Palace (next highest).

The Brussels city version was launched this week at the city’s Press Club and has already found itself in the headlines.

The reason was that the American corporation Hasbro insisted that that other city landmark, the famous Manneken Pis had to be “covered up” on the front of the Monopoly box.

For the uninitiated, Monsieur Pis has been attracting millions of curious sightseers for many years but strictly au naturel.

Cedric Libbrecht, of Bruges-based Groep 24,  which owns the rights to develop Belgian city editions of Monopoly, admits to being surprised by the demand.

He told this website, “They told us that if he was naked on the box that could be seen as sexist or offensive. We were sorry to have to cover him up but we came up with what we think was a solution.”

The solution involved the little boy’s “naughty bits” being covered by a speedo-style swimsuit. The trunks are in the style of the Brussels flag – blue with a yellow Iris.

Hasbro is the owner of the board game that is produced in more than 100 countries around the world and has to endorse the design of every edition.

The covering  for Brussels’ mascot was, it seems, sufficient to satisfy Hasbro, the company licensed to sell the famous product which has delighted young and old alike down the generations.

The Brussels version is sure to do the same. It features places like the Atomium, the city’s best known shopping street -Nieuwstraat – hotels on Avenue Louise, many of Brussels’ museums, the Botanique, concert halls and the Cathedral.

Cedric said one of the aims, in compiling this version, was to highlight the city’s multi-ethnic aspects so expect to also find the Marolles, the famous old neighbourhood overlooking the city’s law courts.

He added, “Monopoly Brussels does not only contain the famous and well known Brussels’ streets but also gives an insight in the diversity of museums and monuments in the city. The game is a sort of guide through the capital. You pass the classic must-sees but you also find less obvious places and hidden secrets in the city.

“The new chance cards and the community chest cards highlight different big events in the city. But it doesn’t stop there as even the Monopoly money in the game has been given a little Brussels’ touch.”

Similar Monopoly board games on Bruges and  Mechelen have been produced and the long awaited Brussels version was launched in tandem with two other Belgian cities: Antwerp and Gent.

Monopoly Brussels is available in a bilingual edition,in French and Dutch, and even a separate English one for tourists and expats. It is on sale in up to 40 shops across the city.

For those already planning for the festive season, it makes for a cracking Christmas stocking filler.

More info.

 

Belgium

Commission approves €2.2 million Belgian aid measures to support Flemish airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

Published

on

The European Commission has approved €2.2 million Belgian aid measures to support the operators of Flemish airports (Antwerp airport, Ostend airport and Kortrijk airport) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measures were approved under the state aid Temporary Framework. The measures consist in: (i) an aid scheme, under which all Flemish airport operators will receive support in the form of a direct grant; and (ii) support to the operators of Antwerp and Ostend airports in the form of payment deferrals of certain costs and fees (namely annual compensation for the use of statutory staff of the Flemish Region and concession fee for the use of the airport infrastructure due for the year 2020).

The purpose of the aid measures is to help Flemish airport operators mitigating the liquidity shortages that they have been facing due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found the measures to be in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the measures can only be granted until the end of this year; (ii) the direct grants do not exceed €800,000 per company, as provided by the Temporary Framework; and (iii) the payment deferrals will be granted by 31 December 2020, and will be due by no later than 31 December 2021 and involve minimum remuneration, in line with the Temporary Framework.

The Commission therefore concluded that the measures are necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU state aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.58299 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Continue Reading

Belgium

Commission approves €10 million Belgian scheme to support potato producers affected by coronavirus outbreak in Wallonia

Published

on

The European Commission has approved a €10 million Belgian scheme to support the Walloon potato sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will be open to producers and stockers active in the potato sector in Wallonia.

The scheme aims at addressing the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries, thus helping them continue their activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Belgian scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid does not exceed €100,000 per beneficiary as provided by the Temporary Framework for undertakings in the primary agricultural sector and (ii) the scheme will run until 31 December 2020.

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU state aid rules.

More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.58649 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Continue Reading

Belgium

Leuven is European Capital of Innovation 2020

Published

on

The city of Leuven in Belgium is the European Capital of Innovation 2020, the Commission announced today at the European Research and Innovation Days. The title was awarded to Leuven in recognition of its excellent innovation concepts as well as its processes and governance models that enable ideas come to life.

The prize comes with a €1 million cash prize funded by Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme. The other five runner-up cities – Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Espoo (Finland), Helsingborg (Sweden), Valencia (Spain) and Vienna (Austria) – will receive €100,000 each to promote and scale up their innovation practices. Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “Leuven is a mission-driven city that excels in innovative governance models. It offers its people an opportunity to get involved in critical decision-making processes.

"But it's an honour to recognise the initiatives of all six winners. Their vibrant innovation ecosystems are an inspiration to all European cities.”

Leuven is the sixth city to win the European Capital of Innovation award, and the third non-capital city after Barcelona and Nantes. Leuven aims to become one of Europe's Labs of the Future through a mission-oriented model in which different groups of stakeholders come together to develop and implement innovative solutions to complex challenges, from climate change and the shift to a circular economy to ensuring high-quality education and care. This year's edition of the European Capital of Innovation Awards was launched in March 2020.

Also known as iCapital Awards, the competition was open to cities with a minimum of 100,000 inhabitants from the EU member states and countries associated with Horizon 2020. The competition first took place in 2014. Past winners include Barcelona (2014), Amsterdam (2016), Paris (2017), Athens (2018) and Nantes (2019). More information is available here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Twitter

Trending