Luxembourg’s Bettel has fries with Sophie Wilmès following Code Orange assurances
Share article:
Share article:

Luxembourg’s Bettel has fries with Sophie Wilmès following Code Orange assurances

Despite appearing to lash out at Belgium on Friday, on his arrival in Brussels for the European Summit, Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel had French fries in the European Quarter on Saturday with his Belgian counterpart, Sophie Wilmès, during a break in the marathon meeting.

To Bettel’s dismay, Luxembourg was coded orange by the Belgian Foreign Ministry in the travel advisory section of its website. This means travel to that country is possible if certain conditions are met: there needs to be increased vigilance; both quarantining and testing are recommended on returning from such countries, although neither is compulsory.

“Luxembourg is following the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) of testing, testing, testing,” Bettel said on Friday. “You cannot then penalize countries that are doing so. If you test a lot, it’s normal to find many positive tests,” he stressed, arguing that Luxembourg was now being excluded from certain countries just for doing its work.

However, Bettel was not specifically targeting Belgium. Ms Wilmès had already been in contact with him ahead of the summit and had confirmed that the Belgian authorities would take testing into consideration in their assessment, according to a good source.

Raising the issue with his European peers, Bettel was even reported to have referred positively to Belgium’s attitude.

Should the choice of the orange-coloured, typically Belgian, Samurai sauce chosen by Prime Minister Bettel for his fries, be seen as symbolizing a thaw between neighbours?

Some observers point, rather, to the fact that while Benelux leaders tend to like being seen together, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, leader of the so-called “frugal” countries seen as part of the reason for the stalemate in budget negotiations, was conspicuously absent.

While Mr. Bettel and Mrs. Wilmes were at their fries, together with the heads of Malta and Esthonia, who knows what the “frugal” ones were eating?

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...