Breaking News

Growing fed up in Belgium

The malaise of the population is growing with marked signs of weariness and calls for violence. And this, despite the authorities’ will to give up a little ballast.

The malaise of the population is growing with marked signs of weariness and calls for violence. And this, despite the authorities’ will to give up a little ballast.

From our correspondent Max Hellef (Brussels) – The police in Turnhout have feared for several days that riots will break out. Appeals on social networks threaten to transform the Flemish border town into a battlefield, in the manner of what happened in Rotterdam, located 85 km to the north. “They are mainly young people of 16 and 17 years”, indicates the mayor. “At the request of the police, I started calling their parents, telling them that spreading a call for violence was punishable. I also asked them to keep these at home on Saturday. ”

This rise in tensions is only one among others. On Sunday, several arrests took place following an unauthorized demonstration in front of the Central Station in Brussels. Recently a young man lost his life after a riot. Officially, he died of a heart attack after a police check. This deleterious situation owes to the containment measures imposed in the name of the fight against the coronavirus. It also takes on the appearance of a confrontation between generations.

On Sunday, in front of Brussels central station, the police arrested several people participating in a prohibited demonstration.

Photo: AFP

On social networks, young people blame the “old” for ruining their best years, on the grounds that everything must be done to protect them. Seniors retort that they have the right to live: it seems normal to them to have priority in the order of vaccination. The authorities understood the urgency of releasing a little ballast. The French-speaking Minister of Higher Education, the liberal Valérie Glatigny, wants to introduce a special contact bubble for students: six people would have the right to cohabit. It confirms the psychological distress of many young people between 18 and 25 years old. Also from this Monday, and for one month, extracurricular activities will again be authorized for 13-18 year olds, to restore them to socialization.

These first deconfinement measures come at a time when schools in the south of the country benefit from a rather favorable epidemic situation, which contrasts with the “third wave” announced by the virologist Emmanuel André on the basis of Flemish data. But this record is fragile: the South African variant of the coronavirus was detected at the Saint-Bernard school, in Arlon. All students and staff were tested on Saturday and quarantined pending results. This new contagion should not be enough to appease the intellectuals who warn the De Croo government against the violation of the rule of law.

About fifteen political scientists, jurists or even philosophers ask in a free hand to redefine in a democratic sense the fundamental axes of the fight against covid. Or “the objective pursued by the current measures (do we want to avoid saturation of hospitals or eradicate the virus without strengthening medical devices?), The risk that we collectively want to run (what risk and to what extent?), The proportion between our goals and the actions they make necessary. These intellectuals also demand to have health data in “open data”, in order to control government analysis and action.

This appeal received a polite reception in the government ranks. Voices from the Francophone Liberal Reform Movement and the Socialist Party consider it healthy to debate in Parliament the measures taken by the De Croo government in the face of the virus. In the opposition, François De Smet, the president of the small Défi party, believes for his part that it is now or never to go for a “big debate”. “We are being told a pandemic law soon. We can’t wait any longer, ”he said.


Related Articles

Back to top button