Jambon Christmas speech: ‘One day we will celebrate again’

Summary

Minister-president called for strict adherence to coronavirus measures in address broadcast in full for the first time

‘Tired of the situation’

In a televised Christmas message, Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon emphasised the importance of closely following the coronavirus regulations if we want to avoid even further restrictions.

The speech was broadcast in full for the first time on VRT after the 19.00 news on Wednesday evening. In it, Jambon called on everyone in Flanders to follow the rules. “I’d love to tell you a happy story on the eve of Christmas, but the circumstances aren’t right,” he said. “If we don’t get those numbers and the curve down, the chances are we will have to give up even more of our freedom.”

I’d love to tell you a happy story on the eve of Christmas, but the circumstances aren’t right

Jambon admitted he was “tired of the situation too” and wanted to return to normal life, following a Christmas like no other. He stressed the need to stick to the rules and enjoy the things that are still possible, such as going for a walk or reading a good book. He also warned those who knowingly flout the rules: “We will be harder on them.”

But he also gave a glimmer of hope: “We can, no, we are going to win this war. On a human level, but also on an economic level. Now let’s press on. And one day we will be able to celebrate again.”

A ruling from 2009 obliges the VRT to broadcast messages from the Flemish government that are in the public interest, directly after the main news.

Photo: VRT