Little Christmas cheer from PM in tear-jerker intervention

PM Alexander De Croo has been keen to play down hopes of a wealth of relaxations ahead of Friday’s gathering of the consultation committee that groups the country’s numerous governments and has the final say on corona measures.  Addressing lawmakers the PM made an opening towards a resumption of trade in non-essential goods and stores, but made it clear we shouldn’t have our hopes up with regard to other relaxations during the festive period.

Unlike abroad where Christmas bubbles are not only limited to champagne, the festive season in Belgium doesn’t look like heralding in many relaxations: “I don’t want to trash the progress made during the past four weeks in four days” said the federal PM.  “The overwhelming majority of people recognise we won’t be celebrating Christmas like usual this year.”

“Thousands of people have an empty chair at their table.  This is the chair for somebody that we lost in the past months.  I wouldn’t want to see more empty chairs next Christmas because we are failing to do what is necessary.  The Christmas period is potentially particularly dangerous and we don’t need to create any additional pain.”

Mr De Croo said many people would have work to do in preparations aimed at making the reopening of non-essential stores safe: “To a high degree it will depend on stores and the local authorities.”

Mr De Croo added that he was liaising with provincial governors on this matter.


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