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The Recap: Johnson, Joblessness & Queue Jumps

Credit: Belga

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EU heads pledge support for a ‘social Europe’: One day after the “social summit” organised in the Portuguese city Porto, the EU heads of State and Government reasserted their commitment to “work towards a social Europe.” To do so, they pledged their support for the European Pillar of Social Rights and its related plan of action.

Thousands demonstrate against joblessness during EU summit in Porto: Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Porto to denounce unemployment, poverty and privatisations. “If they have social concerns, it’s not a summit that’s needed, but concrete actions on the ground.”

Flanders presents its summer ‘Freedom Plan’: The Flemish government presented its so-called Freedom Plan to the inner cabinet of federal ministers under prime minister Alexander De Croo. This plan takes the form of a calendar of monthly relaxations of the current anti-Covid restrictions, in each case conditioned by the progress of the pandemic.

Reopen all culture, not just Tomorrowland, Wallonia-Brussels minister-president says: The “Freedom Plan” presented by the Flemish government is prioritising big Flemish festivals like Tomorrowland whilst neglecting the wider culture sector, according to Pierre-Yves Jeholet, the president of the Brussels-Wallonia Federation.

Brussels students can reschedule exam for coronavirus vaccination appointment: The University of Brussels will categorise a Covid-19 vaccination as a legitimate day of illness for students who have an exam on the same day or the day before the appointment.

Nineteen more cases of the Indian variant in Belgium: After five infections were identified in a residential care centre in Borsbeek near Antwerp last weekend, at least nineteen more people have been found to be infected with the Indian variant in Belgium.

‘Celebrated vigorously’: a dozen people in ER after reopening terraces: As the terraces in Belgium reopened last weekend, the emergency room at the Antwerp hospital ZNA Stuivenberg treated a dozen more people than usual who had too much to drink.

SNCB launches fruit and veg takeaway concept for pick-up in its stations: Travellers and local residents can order fresh, locally produced fruit and vegetables online to collect them from SNCB train stations once a week. By 21 May, the pilot projects will be launched at the Gent-Sint-Pieters station, in Flanders, and in the Liège-Guillemins, Ottignies and Braine-le-Comte train stations in Wallonia.

Staff of mayor who jumped vaccination queue said to have also received vaccines ahead of time: The staff of the Belgian mayor who is currently under investigation for having jumped the vaccination queue back in March is now also said to possibly have been vaccinated ahead of schedule.

Germany will only give Johnson & Johnson vaccine to 60-year-olds: Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine will only be given to people over the age of 60 in Germany due to the “possible link” to blood clots in combination with a low platelet count and the vaccine.

The Brussels Times