Mercer’s ranking compares prices of more than 200 items in 209 cities to determine the most expensive cities to live in for expats. Brussels in this case recorded a decline from 67th to 77th place. Experts state that “the sharp drop in Brussels is mainly due to the evolution of other cities in the ranking”.
It is known affectionately as Belgium’s answer to St Tropez – a town once frequented by Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich and which has inspired the pop art of Keith Haring and surrealism of René Magritte, who painted the walls of the town’s casino. But now the chic, seaside resort of Knokke-Heist is in a “fight for its life”.
Pubs are finding novel ways to combat illicit glass collectors, with one demanding a shoe as a deposit. Bars and cafes complain that tens of thousands of their stylish glasses are being lost to souvenir hunters every year. But the purveyors of Belgium’s most famous cultural artefact are fighting back, in some unorthodox ways.