Even though Belgium no longer has many coronavirus measures in force, they are still the subject of discussion as politicians are pointing fingers at each other for a loophole in the latest Ministerial Decree.
Restrictions on indoor private events for up to 200 people have been lifted since 1 September, but nightclubs still have to wait until 1 October to open.
Creative organisers, however, have managed to organise parties in nightclubs already by using a loophole in the law: they announce the parties as private events. Anyone who wants to attend sends an email to the organiser and receives an invitation as a private guest.
While Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden stated that this is not according to the spirit of the law, she also admitted that it was in fact possible.
Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp and president of the Flemish right-wing N-VA party, blamed Verlinden, saying that the Ministerial Decrees are full of “things that were not intended, things that cannot be applied, loopholes and inconsistencies."
The same day, Verlinden hit back at De Wever, pointing out that the Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, of De Wever’s N-VA party, at no point opposed the proposed measures, and never protested against the draft Ministerial Decree.
This weekend, Jambon joined the squabble, saying that while he was indeed present to discuss the measures, the comments he submitted afterwards were not taken into account.
"Either we sit around the table together until the Ministerial Decree is ready, or the minister takes her responsibility," Jambon said. "The fault lies with a bit of sloppy work. I think that [the Decrees] need to be handled more carefully."
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