While many people were enjoying the good weather this Wednesday, June 9 in Belgian parks, spirits were heated at the Blaarmeersen estate in Ghent. A fight broke out between young people from Brussels, causing several injuries and pushing the authorities to close the park, in the process. If the mayor of Ghent, Matthias De Clercq (Open Vld), has already held an emergency meeting to tackle a problem considered regular, the Flemish Minister for Youth felt that it was necessary to go further still. “It’s a small group that needs to be treated harshly, but there is a much larger problem,” Benjamin Dalle (CD&V) warned on Canvas, calling the incident “disgusting.”
He thus pointed out the problems in terms of employment in the capital. “The unemployment rate in Brussels is still too high. One in four young people is unemployed. If these young people had a job, they would not act like that,” he said.
But that’s not the only downside that the Blaarmeersen incident revealed, according to Dalle. “In the capital of Europe, which has 1.2 million inhabitants, which is also the youngest European capital, we have nowhere a recreation area with water”, he regretted. , in comments relayed by De Morgen. “No outdoor swimming pool. We have now invested in a temporary outdoor swimming pool in Anderlecht. It is a first small step, but it is certainly not enough.”