On Monday, members of the European Parliament expressed their solidarity with Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont after his house was attacked with a petrol bomb on Friday night while his family was inside.
Arimont, the only German-speaking, Belgian Member of the European Parliament, told VRT that the explosive was thrown under his children’s bedroom windows while the family was at home. Additionally, a message was spray-painted on Arimont’s garage reading, “Lying, blackmailing, inciting hatred, dividing … you will pay for it.”
Arimont said he believes the attack is linked with his strong stance in favor of vaccination against the coronavirus: “I am joining the debate because I am convinced that vaccinations are the way out of this crisis. I am not a virologist or vaccinologist, but I do advocate for it … I wrote a text about that on my Facebook page on Friday. My house is attacked the day after that, so to me there seems to be a clear connection.”
The incident occurred in Büllingen, in the province of Liège. Sympathies immediately went out to the Christian democrat politician, with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli saying it was “a cowardly attack.”
“We will never tolerate this kind of hatred,” Sassoli wrote on Twitter. “In a democracy, disagreement must be solved with words, not violence. Those responsible must be brought to justice.”
Manfred Weber, leader of Arimont’s group the European People’s Party (EPP), also condemned the incident, writing: “Dear Pascal Arimont, we are shocked to hear your home was threatened this weekend. We will never give in to this kind of hate. You have our full solidarity and support.”
This was not the first time that Pascal Arimont was a victim of vandalism. Last summer, his gate was vandalized with red paint. Arimont did not lodge a formal complaint with the police then, but has decided to do so in this instance.