'The world is counting on us' for Covid-19 vaccines, King says

'The world is counting on us' for Covid-19 vaccines, King says
Credit: Belga

King Philippe praised Belgium for its central role in Covid-19 vaccination campaigns across the world, underlining the responsibility the country bears, in his New Year's speech.

During a digital ceremony, the King addressed Belgium's authorities in a speech held from the Royal Palace's Throne Room, in which he stated that international partners thank and congratulate him for "the crucial role of Belgium in the fight against the coronavirus."

Those congratulations and thanks are meant for all governments and the country as a whole, according to him. "I am therefore pleased and proud to pass them on to you."

"We can be proud of that," he said, adding that, as a result, a great responsibility rests on Belgium's shoulders. "The world is counting on us."

Belgium is at the centre of vaccination campaigns across the world - thanks to our contribution to the development, production and distribution of corona vaccines, according to the King.

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"This is no coincidence, but the result of a long-term vision and strategy. It is also the result of an extraordinary collaboration between governments and universities, between the public sector and industry."

These "extraordinary achievements of medical science" can also serve as a model for success on other fronts, he said, adding that Belgium is facing "enormous socio-economic challenges," which have been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

If handled well, the country and its governments can open up new opportunities for everyone, but especially the youth. "It requires bold choices to accelerate job creation and business creation and to improve social inclusion," he added.

Notably, King Philippe also spoke about being pleased with the new fully-fledged federal government, led by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who also held a New Year's speech.

"This government is the result of our democratic process," he said. "It has taken a long and patient journey to unite different social visions around a common project. Now there is a solid team - and we can only rejoice."

The King's full speech can be read here, in Dutch, French or German.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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