Permanent terror threat is the "new normal"

The Prime Minister, Charles Michel, has spoken of the changes to our everyday life in his first interview since the hectic days of the heightened terrorist alert in Belgium. Mr Michel told the daily Het Nieuwsblad that our everyday life will look different for quite some time to come.

The prime minister identifies the moment on 20 November when the terror threat analysis body OCAD informed him of the heightened terrorist threat as the most difficult moment of his career.

"It was unprecedented. I checked with people from the security services. It was the first time that a Belgian prime minister was confronted with such information."

"We have to tell the truth. This situation could last quite some time. During the last century we experienced two tragic world wars followed by the Cold War. A new chapter in European history has started: that of the anonymous enemy prepared to blow himself up."

Mr Michel acknowledges that the people of Belgium with have to adapt to a permanent terrorist threat in Europe: "We should return to our normal life as quickly as possible. It's my conviction that in the future normal life will look different. We will have to live with more checks on our luggage and our IDs as well as many more security measures."