Feature

Relief for Kafka

The week's news at a glance.

Brussels

The Belgian government this week proposed creating a Web site where Europeans could share their nightmarish tales of harassment at the hands of E.U. bureaucrats. Belgium already has its own such site, called Kafka.be, in reference to the author Franz Kafka, who wrote stories of arbitrary government persecution. Citizens can log on to report trouble with contradictory, vague, or bewilderingly detailed E.U. regulations. In just four months, Belgium’s site lodged 4,000 complaints, most of them from companies trying to do business in the E.U. “With an instrument such as www.kafka.eu, we will be able to react quickly to curb the European regulation mania,” said Vincent van Quickenborne, Belgium’s state secretary of administrative simplification.

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