Closing schools was ‘incredible blunder’ for Belgium, says De Wever
Share article:
Share article:

Closing schools was ‘incredible blunder’ for Belgium, says De Wever

Bart De Wever. Credit: Belga

Belgium’s federal government made “an incredible blunder” when it decided to close the schools one week early before the Easter holidays, according to Antwerp mayor and leader of the rightwing N-VA party Bart De Wever.

Last week, several incidents with large groups of young people violating the coronavirus measures to party together, including a gathering at the Leopold de Wael square in Antwerp, near the Museum of Fine Arts, which led to some commotion when police officers intervened.

“It is an incredible blunder to close down education. Small children are taken care of elsewhere, older children and young people have extra holidays, go out on the streets and party and gather,” De Wever said on VTM News.

“Two halves of society have emerged: the young people are fed up, they want freedom,” he added, “and the other half are older people, or people with illnesses. Both sides are facing each other with drawn knives.”

Related News:

 

According to De Wever, reopening the terraces would not be a way to relax the current rules, but a “measure of public order,” referring to the fake festival that took place in Brussels’ Bois de la Cambre and the video of partying young people on a train.

“I would much rather have all those people now sitting in those parks, on squares and terraces with stewards and a maximum capacity,” he said. “The mayor of Amsterdam comes to exactly the same conclusion, but some people in the federal government do not understand that.”

The same logic applies to schools, De Wever stressed. “Better to have children in the classroom, in a bubble where you can see them and control them.”

“I have four teenagers in the house myself and can only hope that they follow the rules when they get outside, but I have no illusions about that,” he added.

However, De Wever is still hopeful about the reopening of the hospitality industry on the planned 1 May date.

“You have to reopen at some point, or the cure becomes worse than the disease,” he said. “The epidemic is shrinking now, so there is a little hope. In four weeks’ time, it may yet succeed.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced in shops, teleworking encouraged
Belgium will again require masks to be worn when inside shops, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced during a press conference on Tuesday. The ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...