Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues

Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
Credit: Belga

The government is missing a “general lack of method” when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of the French-speaking socialist party PS, Paul Magnette.

He criticised the government’s tactic during the previous two Consultative Committees this month, saying that preparations were made too quickly and that discussions lacked context. This, he asserts, resulted in the core cabinet meeting more often than necessary.

“I think that we really need to ensure that we take more time to prepare. We announce measures, and then ten days later we have to start again and we have to do it again. When in principle the measures should have been sufficient. That’s not right,” he said during an interview on RTL-TVi’s L’invité.

Despite arguing that there is a methodological problem in the way the government works, Magnette refused to single out Prime Minister Alexander De Croo for criticism and instead said the government has a collective responsibility to ensure clarity and precision when announcing measures.

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PS itself is part of the Federal Government but often clashes with other government parties, not only when it comes to coronavirus measures, but also regarding other policies related to nuclear power and free public transport for all.

Punishing the non-vaccinated

Magnette and his party recently created a deadlock within the government regarding an agreement that was essentially reached by the core cabinet regarding the mandatory vaccination of health care workers.

Specifically, he opposed the fact that non-vaccinated staff would be sanctioned from 1 April, which he said was “a major mistake,” and instead proposed a suspension of work contracts from April 2022 onwards.

More generally, he also criticised the approach of the government regarding non-vaccinated people. “We should try to convince people, not stigmatise them.”


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