Thursday

7th Jul 2022

EU Parliament demands justice after 'anti-vax' attack on MEP

Listen to article

European Parliament president David Sassoli has demanded justice following an attack against a Belgian MEP purportedly by anti-vaxers.

"Those responsible must be brought to justice," Sassoli said in a tweet on Monday (6 December). "We will never tolerate this kind of hatred. In a democracy, disagreement must be solved with words, not violence," he said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

His comments follow an attack over the weekend against the family home of Belgian centre-right MEP Pascal Arimont.

Vandals tossed a Molotov cocktail at his house, confirmed by the police. Although it did not set fire to the house, the incident left Arimont badly shaken.

"One metre below the windows where our children sleep. I am speechless and horrified," said Arimont, in a Facebook post.

"I can deal with criticism. I can stand it when someone criticises me or my work. Even in a harsh tone. But what has happened now goes too far. Much too far!," he said.

"I am called 'cowardly'. How cowardly is it to throw an incendiary device on a house where children are sleeping?," he said.

Veiled threats accusing him of "blackmail" and "liar" were also spray-painted onto his garage door, the second time since August.

Arimont is cited in Belgian media as saying the attack had been carried out by those who oppose Covid vaccines.

He has in the past spoken out in favour of the vaccines and the science behind it, most recently in a Facebook post written around a day before the attack.

The backlash against Covid vaccines and other public-health measures was also on display after a peaceful protest turned violent in Brussels on Sunday (5 December).

Some of the protestors were chanting slogans of "Freedom", following fresh restrictions by the Belgian government in a bid to curb a spike in the infection rate.

Those restrictions include requiring children as young as six to wear face masks and limiting indoor events to 200 people.

Belgium's infection average over a seven-day period is 17,823, according to state health authorities . Another 313 are admitted daily to hospital over the same time period on top of 47 daily deaths.

Column

'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements

Some modest headway in recognising the unrelenting tide of discrimination and violence facing women worldwide was made at last week's largely self-congratulatory and mostly irrelevant G7 talk-fest. But no one mentioned abortion, just days after the Roe vs Wade decision.

Opinion

How industry watered-down new EU supply chain rules

The Commission fell hook, line, and sinker for the arguments of big business on the corporate due diligence directive — conflating rules and regulations with so-called 'red tape' and rebranding regulations as 'burdens' on business which should be scrapped.

News in Brief

  1. British PM defiant amid spate of resignations
  2. France says EU fiscal discipline rules 'obsolete'
  3. Russia claims untouchable status due to nuclear arsenal
  4. Catalan MEPs lose EU court case over recognition
  5. 39 arrested in migrant-smuggling dragnet
  6. France to nationalise nuclear operator amid energy crisis
  7. Instant legal challenge after ok for 'green' gas and nuclear
  8. Alleged Copenhagen shooter tried calling helpline

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Is Orban holding out an olive branch to EPP?
  2. EU should freeze all EU funds to Hungary, says study
  3. Legal action looms after MEPs back 'green' nuclear and gas
  4. EU readies for 'complete Russian gas cut-off', von der Leyen says
  5. Rising prices expose lack of coherent EU response
  6. Keeping gas as 'green' in taxonomy vote only helps Russia
  7. 'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements
  8. Greece defends disputed media and migration track record

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us