De Croo criticises MPs for not caring enough about Belgium’s health situation
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
On Wednesday, Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo strongly criticised MPs who, in his view, are not concerned enough about the health situation, in the Chamber.
De Croo said that he was “astonished” that no questions about Belgium’s epidemiological situation were asked in parliament, while over 900 people are in intensive care, and 40 deaths are still recorded per day.
“No one talks about this, and yet it is a reality,” he said in the Chamber. “And, this will also be the basis of our discussions at the Consultative Committee on Friday.”
“The question that arises is rather what measures should be taken to live as we would like to while preventing people from being infected and becoming ill, or even severely ill,” De Croo said in response to questions in the Chamber Committee on the Interior.
This comment, however, did not sit well with several MPs in the opposition, who referred to the many questions asked by their colleagues in the Chamber’s Health or Covid committees.
“I am a bit shocked by your sermon,” said François De Smet (DéFI). “There is no such thing as a nice government that looks after people in intensive care, and a nasty parliament that would only look after the economic sectors. Do you think that anyone here does not want to see a decrease in the number of infections?”
Additionally, the proposal of a “Covid safe” label for establishments to reopen, as put forward by several Francophone experts, would take too long to implement, according to De Croo.
“I am thinking of a system of trust where we say to entrepreneurs: if you reopen, it is according to a series of rules,” he explained.
Additionally, De Croo refused to comment on the effectiveness of any single measure, as it they are all part of the same package of rules aiming to limit the circulation of the virus.
One of the new elements in this debate, which the Consultative Committee will take into account on Friday, is the acceleration of the vaccination campaign. “Belgium is now in 6th place among European countries where citizens have received their first dose,” he said.