News Brendan Gleeson, left, as Ken and Colin Farrell, right, as Ray in ‘In Bruges’

Mayor Renaat Landuyt could well have had Colin Farrell’s inept assassin Ray in mind when he decided that the medieval city of Bruges should be a little more discerning about how it is portrayed on celluloid.

Football: United to appeal over player's life ban

MANCHESTER UNITED and the Belgian club Royal Antwerp will go to law to try to lift a worldwide life ban on the young United player, Ronnie Wallwork, although they may have to settle for a four-year suspension.

Belgium opens old war wounds

MORE THAN 50 years after the Allied liberation of Belgium, the country's two linguistic communities, the Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons, are embroiled in a rancorous feud over who collaborated with the Nazis, and more compellingly, why.

Invisible people

Letter from a low country

Diving trio suffer bends

Three British divers were yesterday said to be doing well at a medical unit in Belgium after getting into difficulties off the Kent coast.

Best of the bunches

Planted snowdrops in silver-painted crates, from pounds 65 (pounds 360 for arrangement shown), from Kenneth Turner, 125 Mount Street, London W1, 0171 355 3880


One OF the advantages of such a small country as Belgium is that it never takes any time to get anywhere. If you find yourself tiring of the coachloads of tourists in Bruges, you can easily pop across to the other Flemish cities of Belgian Flanders which in many respects are equally intriguing, if not quite as picturesque.

Tourists become pawns in Belgium's separatist war

Industrial decay is no match for Flemish splendours, reports Sarah Helm in Brussels

LETTER : It is time for a referendum

Sir: My thanks to Andrew Reid (Letters, 12 March) who clearly took the time to read Sir James's letter to the candidates and supporters of the Referendum Party in Monday's newspaper. As president of the Young Conservative Group for Europe, Mr Reid must firmly believe that the British people's interests are best served by the Maastricht treaty and the creation of a federal Europe. Why then is he so opposed to a referendum?

Antwerp's Blok vote

A big city with economic problems and simmering social resentments. A y oung, charismatic leader. A recipe for right-wing extremism, and it's winning v otes. Jeremy Langdon reports `The Vlaams Blok is saying what a lot of people in this city are thinking' `The Jewish population have woken up. They are very wary'

Chess: Lost boys fly from the board in Antwerp

THE MOST cheerful finish of the year so far came in a game from the oddly named Lost Boys Tournament in Antwerp earlier this month. The title is a mystery: the players were not particularly young, no more lost than usual, and there was no obvious connection with Peter Pan. The late William Winter, a British international of 50 years ago, was the nephew of J M Barrie, but I doubt the Belgians knew that.

Extract from Portillo interview

THIS is an edited extract from the GMTV interview:

Letter: A capital location for a rhetorical Hell

Sir: Has Miles Kington ('An Antwerp clog - now what would Froggy say?', 30 March) not misheard or been misinformed?

If it's Tuesday, this must be LA: Antwerp is a European City of Culture with global aspirations: which is where the Ark comes in. Ellen Cranitch reports

A MUGGY May bank holiday in Antwerp; a small, smartly dressed Belgian boy stands staring at a curious object on a barge on the river Schelde. It's a huge hunk of ice encasing a bottle which in turn contains a photograph. From the photo, a dark-eyed, curly-haired two-year- old stares back. The information beneath the picture tells the reader that Rafael Suarez, born on 30/1/91, was last seen in Los Angeles on 17/3/93 and urges any sightings of him to be reported to the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Belgian boy soon loses interest and runs on.

Maastricht referendum vote expected in the Lords

PEERS are expected to be given the chance to vote on the principle of a referendum on the Maastricht treaty with the Second Reading of the Bill to ratify it in the Lords on 8 July, writes Colin Brown.
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