With short-sleeved tourists still thronging Brussels streets and cafés doing a roaring trade with packed-out terraces, it seems a little incongruous to turn our attention to winter and the hardships that those dark days have in store.
The change of season by itself is enough to shake us from our summer reveries, quite apart from the additional challenges it poses to households. Can't we just celebrate the unusually good weather and leave the worries for later?
Unfortunately not. As Alexander De Croo demonstrated yesterday, wishful thinking is best left out of economic forecasts and "preparing for the worst whilst hoping for the best" is a sage policy. Alright Alex, how bad are we talking?
Well, maybe the next five to ten winters... Ooof. Visions of a desolate and dismal decade come to mind, our now-vibrant surroundings transformed into a dreary Dickensian cityscape. Most likely in black and white as well.
A quick look at neighbouring countries does little to inspire confidence: there's a high chance of "controlled" blackouts in France; Germany is throwing environmental caution to the wind as it fires up coal power stations; UK households will soon be incentivised to not use appliances at peak times.
It seems only a matter of time before Belgium follows suit, which is exactly what one opposition party is calling for. Yet with household energy prices already exorbitantly high, we must surely be reaching the limit of what individuals can be expected to cope with.
Short of insurrection, how do you think Belgium could weather the hard months to come? Let @Orlando_tbt know.
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