"Germany will help Belgium to avert energy shortages”

The Federal Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) has said that Germany has agreed to help Belgium stave off power shortages during the coming winter. He did so during his annual policy statement in the Chamber of representatives on Monday afternoon. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised her country’s assistant in a telephone conversation with Mr Michel.

As all but one of Belgium’s 7 nuclear reactors will be out of action in November, there have been fears that there could be electricity shortages resulting in power cuts for many.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed his position that the electricity production and supply company Engie Electrabel is responsible for the current situation. He added that it would Engie Electrabel that would pick up the bill if electricity prices were to rise abnormally as a result of the issues with the reactors.  

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is doing all it can to find extra electricity production capacity, including finding sources abroad.

Mr Michel spoke to the German Chancellor on Sunday. Chancellor Merkel promised to help us import electricity from Germany.

Fact checking and fake news

With reference to Sunday’s municipal and provincial election, Mr Michel stressed the importance of democracy and the dangers posed by fake news.

The Federal Government is to set up a fact checking fund in an effort to counter online disinformation. The fund will develop a toot that will help people better understand which organisations are behind messages and advertising  they receive through online media. It will also work on the development of tool to check whether video images published on line have been tampered with.   

The Prime Minister called on young people to make an informed choice when they go to the polls on Sunday.

"Get informed and make your choice based on knowledge of the issues. I would like to called on every to take part in the elections on 14 October with conviction”, Mr Michel added.