Belgian vice-PM steps down temporarily to take care of husband


Belgium’s Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes attends a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on March 23, 2021. — Virginia Mayo/Pool via Reuters
  • Sophie Wilmes says “this difficult hardship is not without consequences for my family”.
  • Says hardship also has consequences for her role within the Belgian government.
  • She takes leave at least until this summer.

BRUSSELS: Belgian vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs minister Sophie Wilmes said on Thursday she will temporarily step down from the government to take care of her husband, who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

“This difficult hardship is not without consequences for my family, and therefore also for my role within the Belgian government,” she said in a statement.

Wilmes, who was Belgium’s Prime Minister between 2019 and 2020 and the first woman in that role, takes leave at least until this summer when she and her family will re-evaluate the situation.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo will take over Wilmes’ foreign affairs duties.



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