Belgians try again

The Belgian Grand Prix may be off but members of the country's Senate Social Affairs Commission have voted 8-7 in favour of postponing the country's anti-tobacco legislation until 2006. The law which was first introduced as long ago as December 10 1997 has been struggling through the system and it looked until recently that this would come into force at the start of August 2003. However the cancellation of the Belgian Grand Prix as a result of the law has focussed the attention of the country's politicians on the issue.

The Belgian Senate does not have the right to create its own laws but it has a responsibility for settling conflicts of interests between the different institutions at local and national level. In order for the proposed amendment to now be accepted it will have to go to both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate and be passed by both. The chances of this happening in the next month are slim and even then there are no guarantees that the FIA World Council will agree to reinstate the Belgian race as the behaviour of the Belgian politicians has to date been incredibly stubborn and the FIA does not want to encourage similar disputes developing in other countries.

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