Belgian PM rails at reckless street parties
Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes spoke out angrily on Wednesday to condemn recent street parties held by young people after bars close, in defiance of anti-virus restrictions.
Wilmes warned that, while the latest figures still show Belgium emerging from the worst of the epidemic, recent new surges in neighbours like Germany could herald a feared second wave.
“Directly or indirectly, these people risked putting months of our joint effort at risk,” Wilmes said, in televised briefing on efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
“Basic health protection rules were not followed.”
Over the weekend, amateur footage on social media showed large crowds of young people gathered around a sound system in Place Flagey, a popular late-night gathering spot in Brussels.
Police intervened to break up the impromptu rave, but there were no arrests. Belgium has reopened its bars and restaurants under social-distancing rules, but public gatherings are still banned.
In a separate incident reported by the Belga news agency, students celebrating the end of term at the prestigious College of Europe in Bruges, a breeding ground for the EU elite, held a banned house party.