Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: Sloppy Work?

Credit: Belga/Pexels

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.”

What do you think? Let @johnstonjules know, or @maithechini, as she wrote it today.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:



1. Belgium’s next Consultative Committee planned for 17 September

Belgium’s authorities will meet on Friday 17 September for a new Consultative Committee about the country’s coronavirus measures, the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed. Read more.

2. ‘Sloppy work’: Jambon warned Verlinden about unclear coronavirus rules

Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon said that he did comment on the ambiguity in the rules for indoor events in the latest Ministerial Decree before it was published, calling it “sloppy work” by Interior Affairs Minister Annelies Verlinden. Read more.

3. Paralympics Recap: 15 medals for Belgium

The Paralympic Games closed in the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday, with Belgium surpassing expectations and ranking 25th for number of medals won, and 31st in medal ranking. Read more.

4. Excess mortality: Deaths now back to pre-Covid levels

The number of deaths now being recorded in Belgium – around 300 a day – is no longer higher than it was before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more.

5. 1,500 protest in Brussels against mandatory vaccination

Several hundred people gathered yesterday in the Cinquantenaire park in Brussels to protest at the prospect of a Covid-19 vaccination being a mandatory requirement to take part in certain activities. Read more.

6. Higher prices in supermarkets expected next year

Global commodity prices are rising, and experts say this will translate into higher prices in the supermarket from the beginning of next year. Read more.

7. Two Belgian tourists die in Crete

Despite warnings that the sea was dangerous, the two Belgian tourists went into the water and were soon in difficulty, according to reports in local Greek media which were confirmed by Belgium’s Foreign Ministry. Read more.

Latest news

Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...
Brussels café managers ask for security guards following stabbing over vaccination proof
Managers of cafes in Brussels are asking to be provided with security guards if they’re to continue enforcing rules surrounding proof of vaccination, ...
1.6 tonnes of drugs, 27 suspects: Belgian police bust major gang
The Belgian police and public prosecutor's office arrested 27 suspects and seized 1.6 tonnes of drugs, over €80,000 and a number of weapons in a ...
75% more sexual violence victims seek help in Brussels since summer
There has been a 75% increase in the number of people asking for help from the Brussels Centre for the Treatment of Sexual Violence (CPVS) since the ...
European Commission outlines possible action against the rule of law crisis in Poland
In a speech at the European Parliament plenary on Tuesday morning, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen listed three options for action against ...
PFOS contamination found in air around 3M factory
Months after unsafe levels of the chemical PFOS were discovered in the water and soil in the vicinity of a 3M factory in Antwerp, in addition to in ...
Belgium is global leader in plastic recycling and bioplastic innovations
Belgium is among the best-performing countries when it comes to innovation in plastic recycling and researching alternative plastics technologies, an ...
Lidl reopens all Belgian shops as strike actions end
Lidl has confirmed that all its shops in Belgium will reopen on Tuesday following six days of closure across various branches due to strike actions. ...
Brussels Christmas Market will once again return on 26 November
It may only be October, but the news that Brussels will get back its Christmas market this year means that seasonal celebrations with Glühwein ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Brussels Airport adds 10 flight destinations this winter
Some 130 destinations will be served from Brussels Airport this winter, the company announced on Monday, just a few days before the start of the ...