Belgium in Brief: Blood in De Brouckère

Belgium in Brief: Blood in De Brouckère
Credit: Belga

As home to many of Europe's largest institutions and a busy capital that welcomes high numbers of tourists year-round, security in Brussels will always be high on the list of priorities for city authorities. Though not heavy-handed, police presence is felt – especially in the busier parts of town.

This doesn't mean that incidents don't occur (most notably with the 2016 terrorist attacks), but they are certainly deterred. Which makes it unusual for acts of extreme violence to happen in public spaces, especially on Place De Brouckère, bang in the city centre.

Yet on Saturday evening, the busiest conceivable time, the bustling square became the scene of a fatal shooting as a 43-year-old man was shot six times. It now transpires that the act was likely part of a long vendetta that has already claimed several lives over 20 years.

I admit that planning a hit job has never been something I've devoted much thought to, but I would probably choose somewhere a little less conspicuous for the deed rather than right in the public eye. The suspect has now been detained, local media report. This isn't surprising given the audacious circumstances.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close responded to the incident stating in no uncertain terms his concern for public safety. As the city gears up for a busy summer, streets will be packed more than ever, no doubt with plenty of police among the crowds.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Public transport to be hit again by another national strike

Just three weeks after public transport in Belgium ground to a halt as a result of a national strike on 31 May, another strike is planned with unions once again calling on the Government to protect people’s purchasing power. Read more.

2. Saturday shooting was result of twenty-year ‘vendetta’

Saturday’s shooting of a 43-year-old man on Place De Brouckère seems to be the result of a twenty-year ‘vendetta’. Read more.

3. Where to swim outdoors in and around Brussels

With summer right around the corner, the question of where to swim in Brussels remains somewhat unanswered, the city’s only outdoor swimming facility is a pop-up pool that was not designed to last for six seasons. Read more.

4. Brussels municipality bans alcohol in public areas

The Brussels municipality of Evere is banning the consumption of alcohol in public spaces from Wednesday 15 June for an indefinite period, it announced on Monday. Read more.

5. Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations continue to rise in Belgium

After weeks of both figures declining, the number of new Covid-19 cases as well as the number of new hospitalisations as a result of the virus are continuing to increase. Read more.

6. Russian oligarch’s wife appointed CEO of Antwerp fertiliser company

Along with numerous other Russian oligarchs, Andrey Melnichenko was added to the EU’s list of oligarchs with close ties to the Russian government as the country invaded Ukraine. Read more.

7. Hidden Belgium: St Bavo Abbey ruins

The ruined Sint-Bavo Abbey is a strange, forgotten building near the River Leie in Ghent. The city restricts the opening hours to protect the fragile mediaeval site. Read more.


Latest News

Copyright © 2021 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.