Fearing the domino effect
Annelies Verlinden expressed concern that violent protests in the Netherlands due to restrictive measures could cause similar riots in her country.Source: Sputnik
The Belgian interior minister made the statement during a meeting with city officials, where she gave them instructions on how to limit the spread of the virus during any potential protests.
Her statement comes at a time when some Belgians are calling on social networks to protest against the lockdown and curfew. They talked about holding a protest at the Atomium in Brussels on Sunday, January 31, reports Sputnik.
"Violent demonstrations that erupted in the Netherlands have obviously encouraged certain people in our country to demonstrate against health measures," the office of the Belgian Minister of the Interior announced.
Over 7,000 people indicated that they would show up to a demonstration at the Atomium on Sunday, looking to protest Belgium's strict Covid-19 measures.https://t.co/d5XFGccI4b— The Brussels Times (@BrusselsTimes) January 27, 2021
Verlinden told leaders that they should prevent unauthorized protests, noting that demonstrations approved by the authorities must not involve more than 100 people. Participants must wear masks and maintain physical distance, and the protests will be secured by police if necessary.
Addressing the press, the minister said that she hoped that riots would not break out in the country, but she noted that the unexpected things could happen.
"It's better to be proactive. We read the messages on social media. We have to prevent that from happening here," she said.