Consultative Committee starts over an hour late due to Covid barometer

Consultative Committee starts over an hour late due to Covid barometer
Credit: Benoit Doppagne/Belga

Today’s Consultative Committee, which was planned to meet from 13:00, started over an hour late, as a separate consultation between the different Minister-Presidents about the coronavirus barometer took place first.

The Committee meeting officially started around 14:45, after the separate consultation on the barometer ended, according to reports by VRT and Le Soir.

Earlier on Friday, the co-president of the Francophone green Ecolo party Jean-Marc Nollet said on Walloon radio that the proposed version of the barometer was “unsatisfactory” and “too strict” for them, adding that other parties had similar thoughts.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, for his part, told the Chamber on Thursday that he absolutely wanted to introduce the barometer at the Consultative Committee today, after several previous attempts already failed.

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The barometer will be a colour-coded tool that will link certain measures to predetermined thresholds in terms of coronavirus infections or hospitalisations. This should enable sectors such as sports and culture to prepare for what is to come.

For Nollet, a number of points of criticism from the culture sector are right. “What is being proposed currently, we cannot accept.”

Still, it is not Ecolo’s intention to have to coronavirus barometer scrapped. “A large part of the work has already been done,” he said, adding that the Consultative Committee is intended to eliminate the remaining problem areas.

A press conference to announce the Consultative Committee’s latest decisions is still expected afterwards. An overview of all topics on the table today can be found here.

Update: This article was updated following the start of the Consultative Committee meeting around 14:45.

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