Belgian ‘Health’ Ministry Says Shut Down Shops as a “Psychological Shock Tactic”
Imagine you are a business owner whose business was devastated because the tax parasites felt like psychologically terrorizing the populace
Editor’s note: The Belgian authorities now admit that “shopping does not really involve any risk”. Imagine you are a business owner whose business was devastated because the tax parasites felt like psychologically terrorizing the populace.
Shutting shops at the end of October was a “psychological shock” tactic to bring home the need for restrictions to arrest the spread of the virus, the country’s health minister has admitted.
Non-essential retailers were forced to close at the end of October as infection rates reached the highest level in Europe and hospital admissions threatened to overwhelm intensive care units. Shops will reopen today after a decline in infections.
Frank Vandenbroucke told the broadcaster VRT that, with masks and social distancing, “shopping does not really involve any risk”.
Source: The Times
Machine translated from French.
“A surrealist interview”, “Enough to make Belgians no longer want to follow the rules”: the words of Frank Vandenbroucke after the Concertation Committee make people react
The Minister of Health, Frank Vandenbroucke (sp.a), returned to the reason why the authorities had decided to close non-essential businesses for a month. Explanations that have made many people cringe.
Asked at the exit of the Concertation Committee this Friday, November 27, the Minister of Health gave a speech which challenged many people, including his coalition partners.
Returning to the decision to reopen non-essential shops from December 1, Frank Vandenbroucke (sp.a) explained that “shopping did not really involve any risk when everything was well controlled”. Words to which the journalist from the VRT immediately reacted, asking why these stores had to close their doors on October 30. “Because at one point we needed to make a shock decision, we needed an electric shock and that implied that we immediately close non-essential businesses,” retorted the Minister of Health.
The Flemish socialist’s responses have been singled out on Twitter. The head of the CDH group in the Chamber, Catherine Fonck, judged it to be a “surreal interview”. “I have always pleaded for strong and coherent measures given the gravity of the epidemic. But this interview is surreal: the businesses closed because a ‘shock decision’ was needed. What cynicism in the face of all those who are today rolled by the loss of their business, “wrote Ms. Fonck on the social network to the blue bird.
A few minutes later, she reiterated her anger by sharing a video in which infectious disease specialist Erika Vlieghe explains that experts have never advised to close non-essential businesses. “
J’ai tjrs plaidé pr des mesures fortes et cohérentes vu la gravité de l’épidémie #Covid19. Mais cette interview est surréaliste : les commerces fermés pcqu’il fallait une « décision choc ». Quel cynisme face à tous ceux qui sont auj laminés par la perte de leur activité😞. #begov https://t.co/hrT5xnlrD6
— Catherine Fonck (@catherinefonck) November 29, 2020
Same story with Bart De Wever (N-VA), who wondered what the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health were based on to make decisions. “We assumed they were based on reason and science. But no. If you want to bankrupt the traders and convince the Belgians to stop following the measures, this is exactly the way to do it” , deeply regretted the leader of the Flemish nationalists.
Wij gingen ervan uit dat de premier en de minister van Volksgezondheid zich baseerden op ratio en wetenschap. Niet dus. Als je middenstanders te gronde wil richten en het draagvlak voor maatregelen wil wegslaan, dan moet je het zo aanpakken. pic.twitter.com/pdoQhIuOXu
— Bart De Wever (@Bart_DeWever) November 29, 2020
François De Smet (DéFi) also displayed his dismay at the words of the Minister of Health. “He explains quietly that the businesses could have remained open, but that it was necessary to create a” shock “, he was surprised on Twitter. Let us stop infantilizing the citizens. The population will accept harsh measures if they are justified and explained. Not if taken at vogelpik. “
Le ministre explique tranquillement que les commerces auraient pu rester ouvert, mais qu'il fallait créer un "choc".
Arrêtons d'infantiliser les citoyens. La population acceptera des mesures dures si elles sont justifiées et expliquées. Pas si elles sont prises au vogelpik. https://t.co/CVfIXEV5Mr
— François De Smet (@francoisdesmet) November 30, 2020
The former president of DéFi, Olivier Maingain, also did not mince his words about Frank Vandenbroucke. “The words of Minister Vandenbroucke on the closure of businesses is implausible, he said on Twitter. We thought we had a more responsible Minister of Health but we can doubt it. How to ask citizens to adhere to government decisions afterwards such an exit? “
#COVID19 le propos du ministre Vandenbroucke sur la fermeture des commerces est invraisemblable. On croyait avoir un ministre de la santé plus responsable mais on peut en douter. Comment demander aux citoyens d'adhérer aux décisions gouvernementales après une telle sortie?
— Olivier Maingain (@OlivierMaingain) November 30, 2020
The president of the MR, Georges-Louis Bouchez, did not speak on the subject but all the same retweeted the words of a journalist of the Last Hour estimating that the justifications of the Flemish socialist will not be “considered sufficient by the tradespeople”. Last week, the Liberal Party had already made known its desire to reopen non-essential stores for the month of December. The Minister of Middle Classes and Independents, David Clarinval (MR), considered that it was a “matter of life and death for traders”.
Pourquoi les commerces ont-ils fermé s'ils représentent "un faible risque"? Il fallait "une décision choc", pointe Franck Vandenbroucke. Pas sûr que l'argument soit jugé suffisant par les commerçants… https://t.co/lFZxq8VBO8
— Adrien de Marneffe (@Adri_deMarneffe) November 29, 2020
Flemish Vice-Minister-President Bart Somers (Open Vld), meanwhile, supported Frank Vandenbroucke. He said on Monday that the closing of stores at the end of October was “necessary”. “Our health system was under high pressure. (…) We had to intervene drastically and do everything to avoid contact,” he said.
Source: La Libre