Letter from outraged citizens to Minister Goffin

Sart-Lez-Spa, May 11, 2020

Dear Minister of Defense,

We were literally stunned by the announcement made on the RTBF’s 7:30 p.m. news on Saturday, May 9, about the purchase of mouth masks from the firm Avrox located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This is totally incomprehensible.

How does this firm which has as NACE activity « rental and leasing of cars and Can « light duty vehicles » provide millions of mouth masks that will be manufactured in Vietnam and Hong Kong.

The government is regularly talks about supporting the economy, reopening the We have a textile industry on our territory, and we have our territory capable of producing quality masks in the required standards and paying workers the right amount of money. correct way. Why go to Luxembourg to get a company that subcontracts its orders to distant countries where that labor is paid at standards that do not meet the do not correspond to the European standards.

You will answer that there was a call for tenders, that it is obligatory to go through that.

We will answer you that in this time of crisis the government takes measures in various areas (containment, closure, etc.) companies and businesses, prohibition of travel to abroad…) and that it could take as an emergency measure to override the sacrosanct law of the market and free trade.

You don’t have has chosen economic and social solidarity.

You will answer that masks produced in Asia are less expensive.

We answer you that you have chosen economy over humanity. Is it that the Defence has verified the working conditions of the workers and workers who will make our masks? A Belgian company could have had this job to protect its workers without Counting on the fact that this order could have led to jobs indirect: upstream equipment, supplies and downstream the packaging, distribution… It’s easy to be competitive when Asian workers are underpaid.

You don’t have has chosen economic and social solidarity.

You will answer that it was not easy because the whole world wants masks and as you said on RTL, the Defense has worked for days and sometimes nights on this file.

We answer you that many Belgian companies have also been working on the day and night in the emergency to provide medical equipment, gowns, masks, respirators, hydroalcoholic gel…

That all medical teams in this country have also worked tirelessly and often without the basic protections.

You don’t have solidarity with the workers and the community. population.

You will answer that the government has committed to providing masks to the population in a very short time.

We answer you that mask management has been a fiasco since mid-March. We believe that the government has moved from the beginning of the pandemic, alongside a real opportunity to instill a to our companies and to the population by giving them the asking to face the challenge of making masks that meet the needs of to Belgian standards to fight against the corona virus. This would have strengthened the sense of solidarity between women and men of our country.

You have moved to side of the human.

You will answer that citizens must be reassured.

In reality, you scare us. We regularly hear that there will be lessons to be learned from this crisis. With this purchase of masks at Avrox we do not see any lessons learned from our current situation. This crisis has already taught us many lessons, the first being our economic dependence on Asia, which makes our economy at national and European level. The lack of management of this crisis is the flagrant proof: lack of material medical, lack of tests, lack of medication… This crisis is shows the limit of globalization and our lack of resilience.

These two aspects have have been widely developed in the press and I will not go back to them here.

We ask you to Please accept, Mr. Minister, the expression of our highest consideration,

Jeannine and Pirly Zurstrassen-Bouhon


Espace membre

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