The federation of commerce and services, Comeos, has come out with a warning that Belgium could suffer a flood of bankruptcies if the government doesn’t allow shops and businesses to reopen on Friday.
"If on Friday the government does not take the decision to reopen the stores, Belgium will not become an island of closed shops but rather an island of bankrupt shops, while Belgian money is spent abroad," Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos, declared Tuesday evening.
The reaction of the director of Comeos - which represents 18 sectors in Belgium, employing some 400,000 people and account for 11.2% of Belgium’s GDP - came in the light of the announcement that France intends to reopen stores this Saturday.
"With all the stores open in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg, Belgium is now an island of closed stores," Michel said.
"The figures show that 1 in 3 Belgian families cross the border no less than nine times a year to make purchases. It is a billion euros less each year and this, without coronavirus. If everything remains closed with us, everyone will go across the border also for their Christmas shopping.
This is not a solution from a virological point of view and it is perfectly possible to shop safely in our own country and, in this way, to also give our Belgian businesses a future," Michel added.
The Brussels Times