Belgium. According to Countryaah.com, terrorism has characterized Belgium for much of the year. During the winter several anti-terrorism trees were carried out with house searches. In early February, at the request of the Belgian police, the Malmö Police conducted a house search of relatives of 24-year-old Osama Krayem, who is suspected of involvement in a planned terror attack on Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. Krayem was arrested in April 2016 and has been detained ever since.
“National solidarity” is the name of a special support for terror victims, which was approved by the Belgian government at the end of February. The support was presented to coincide with the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22, 2016. This means that financial and medical assistance should be given to those who “have been injured, physically or mentally, because of the terrorist act”.
In June, an explosion occurred at Brussels Central Station. The suspected assailant was shot, a bomb belt was found on him. No other people were harmed.
Before the Turkish referendum in April, riots arose outside the Turkish embassy. Supporters and opponents of the Turkish government clashed; several people had to be taken to hospital.
At the end of May, the ULB University of Brussels was asked to apologize after inviting female students to dress in a ring in connection with a graduation ceremony. The call was: “From an aesthetic point of view, it is better for young women to wear a dress or skirt with a nice and revealing ring.”
The burger chain Burger King also had to make a so-called poodle. In early June, they apologized for teasing King Philippe with an ad with the text: “Two kings, one crown. Who will rule? Vote now! ” The ad was changed to: “There is no room for two kings in Belgium.”
Saab received a quote request from Belgium in March for 34 Gripen E; In July, Saab and the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) were forced to refuse this request because of “security policy positions” which could not be fulfilled.
The European Court of Human Rights in July issued a sign of niqab ban in Belgium. The Court held that neither religious freedom nor freedom of opinion was violated by such a ban. It was in 2011 that the country introduced the ban, which applies in public places. This was appealed but was now rejected.
Belgium was also involved in the Dutch egg scandal in August, when it was revealed that millions of eggs had traces of the pesticide fipronil. A minor crisis arose on the issue of responsibility, mainly between the agriculture ministers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, which prompted EU Health Commissioner Vyrient Andriukaitis to call a crisis meeting.
Following the “unsuccessful” Catalan independence vote on October 1, the then President of Carles Puigdemont resigned to the Belgian capital Brussels in late October. An arrest warrant had been issued and he refused to leave Belgium. In mid-November, Belgian prosecutors announced that Puigdemont would be extradited to Spain. In early December, however, the international demand for him was withdrawn by Spanish authorities.