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Congo. A History

  • Politics
  • International
  • Art

 In July 2009, the American magazine Foreign Policy published its annual list of failed nation-states. The Democratic Republic of Congo occupied fifth place, after notoriously dysfunctional states like Somalia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Chad, and ahead of war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. This performance was particularly depressing, given the high hopes that surrounded the presidential election of 2006, the first democratic ballot since the country gained independence in 1960.

Heart of darkness revisited

  • Politics
  • Conflict
  • International

More then a hundred years after the publication of Joseph Conrads’ book ’The Heart of Darkness”. Marc Hoogsteyns checks if the situation in Congo has changed. Despite all the trouble the author remarks that there is still hope for this country.

Belgian Minister of Finance Reynders mocks parliament

  • Finance
  • Politics

Due to the banking crisis the Belgian government had to bail out 4 major financial institutions in 2008 and 2009 to prevent them from bankruptcy. Fortis, KBC, Dexia and Ethias initially received more than 20 billion of tax payers' money which they will have to reimburse eventually. But which role does the government play in the meantime now that it acquired seats as an important stakeholder in the governing boards of these banks?

A girl for day and night

  • Organised crime
  • Health
  • Family
A taboo-breaking story about the hidden problem of incest in immigrant families in the Netherlands. 

Money Laundering in Estonia

  • Corruption
  • Economy
  • Politics

TALLINN - According to experts, Estonian financial institutions are popular among criminals for laundering money because Estonia offers cheaper currency transactions than Russia and less regulation than in the EU. Its convenient location for such transactions adds to the appeal.

Another way for Africa?

  • Politics
  • International

Ask any average Belgian, or any European for that matter, to name three words he associates with sub-Saharan Africa. The odds are big he will come up with for instance ‘war’, ‘hunger’ and ‘rape’.

Sibir

  • Politics

Debby Huysmans shows a photographic research on forgotten and isolated communities in Siberia. The two longest rivers of Siberia, the Yenisey and Lena, guided the photographer through the desolated area in search of individuals who experience this area as their biotope and the marks they leave in the landscape that surrounds them. Remainders of dreams of the past and signs of hope for the future appear through the daily environment.

Fields of Terror

  • Agriculture
  • Europe
  • Trafficking

BUCHAREST - 'The New Slave Trade in the Heart of Europe': poor people are being lured from Eastern Europe to the Czech Republic for forced labour. Some of the worst gangsters are now on trial but there is no sign of this evil trade coming to an end.

The big carbon fraud

  • Politics
  • Ecology
  • International
  • Energy

With financial support from the Fonds Pascal DecroosNick Meynen followed carbon credit money flowing from Belgium to India, where he discovered a desert full of mirages. Part from the fraud and abuse, he also noticed the difference in approach between Flanders and Belgium, the buyers of carbon credits.

Belgium trades in Hot Air

  • Politics
  • Ecology
  • Energy

A year ago the Belgian government bought 2 million tonnes of CO2 permits from Hungary. This 26 million euros investment aims to fulfill the country’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol: Decreasing their emissions 7.5 percent by 2012 compared to 1990 levels. Under the terms of the deal, Hungary had to invest the proceeds in the Green Investment Scheme (GIS), an investment vehicle for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Belgium is one of the first countries to experiment with this mechanism. Hence, the results of this deal are decisive for an evaluation at the Summit in Copenhagen.