Minister attacks advertisement for alcohol and betting during sports events
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    Minister attacks advertisement for alcohol and betting during sports events

    © Belga
    Alda Greoli is not happy with the current advertising rules for alcohol and betting.
    © Belga

    The Walloon Minister for Health, Alda Greoli, wants to open the debate on the prohibition of alcohol and betting advertisements, during major sports competitions. She announced this on Wednesday on the La Première radio (RTBF).

    The minister asserted, “Health prevention also raises the question of the link between sports events and advertising for such addictive practices as alcohol and betting…Such advertising around major sports events is a significant concern.”

    The largest sports competition in Belgium, the First Division Professional Football Championships, carries the name of the most consumed beer, whilst advertising for online betting abounds during televised retransmissions in sports competitions.

    The Vice President (of the French-speaking Christian Democratic party) of the Walloon and Wallonia-Brussels Federation governments hence believes that prohibiting advertising for alcohol on RTBF “is not a taboo subject.”

    Questioned as part of a so called “second filter” on the results of the medical and dentistry studies, that the Federal Minister, Maggie De Block (Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats) is preparing to introduce into law, via quotas at the conclusion of the study, Ms Greoli says that she is ready to raise the alarm, as a public health issue, given Wallonia’s current shortage of GPs.

    She goes on, “Health prevention also involves the ability to consult your doctor and with 144 communes having a shortage in Wallonia, I will request that we discuss the matter in the steering committee”, the body which brings together the federal government and federated entities.

    A few months from the May 2019 elections, the minister has not ruled out the possibility of starting the conflict of interest procedure, to delay the entry into force of a controversial measure by introducing new consultation periods.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times