Activists highlight Brussels’ lack of coronavirus information in Dutch
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Activists highlight Brussels’ lack of coronavirus information in Dutch

Credit: Belga

Leaflets titled ‘First Aid for Dutch Ignorance’ were handed out by activists at the Merode coronavirus testing centre in Brussels to draw attention to its failure to provide information to Dutch-speaking people.

The action group Taal Aktie Komitee (TAK), which campaigns for Dutch and Flemish rights in the Brussels Region, responded to reports of a lack of Dutch-speaking staff at vaccination and test centres in the city by creating a manual to help these services with a few basic sentences.

“We are not asking for anything extreme. A very basic level of knowledge of Dutch is needed to help people in a testing village,” campaigner Jeroen Bergers told Bruzz.

The activists targeted the centre in Etterbeek on Saturday in response to last month’s incident, during which a Dutch-speaking man got into a dispute with the staff after no-one was available to help him in his language.

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“We regularly receive reports of people who are not offered help in Dutch at various testing and vaccination centres in Brussels,” said Bergers.

“Especially in a health crisis, it is crucial that people can understand care providers. This should not be happening in Brussels, as it can lead to dangerous situations,” he added.

Brussels minister for multilingualism, Sven Gatz, previously commented on these events, telling The Brussels Times that he would bring this up with the Council of Ministers, “not only because the application of the language law failed here, but also because it is a failure of delivering a good service to your citizens.”

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times