"Brussels isn't dangerous"

The Prime Minister of the Brussels Region, Rudi Vervoort, has accused people who claim Brussels has a security problem, of being responsible for a self-inflicted wound.

Mr Vervoort told the daily De Standaard that Belgians are too self-destructive and that this should stop: "We are exporting an unjustified negative reputation."

Many are the Flemings who will raise insecurity when questioned about their concerns about Brussels. Mr Vervoort was in the US this week to promote Brussels and discovered that many Americans share this Flemish fear.

"It's ridiculous. We should stop repeating this all the time. Brussels has no security problem. Brussels isn't dangerous."

Crime figures show recorded crime in the Belgian and Flemish capital fell by over a quarter between 2011 and 2016. Mr Vervoort is worried negativity is putting tourists and investors to flight: "In the past we have too often dug our own grave and this didn't do our reputation any good.”