There have been reports in the Belgian media that over the past month, as many as 600 cafes, restaurants and hotels have filed for bankruptcy in Brussels. The normal amount is 40 per month.
The reports seem to reaffirm what people in Brussels have seen with their own eyes over the past weeks. Since the terrorist attacks of 22 March, Brussels city centre has been eerily quiet.
I have been mostly in Brussels over the past month rather than in Berlin, and I can confirm that the atmosphere has sometimes resembled a ghost town. At first, people were blaming it on the Easter break. "Brussels would always be empty at this time of year," they insisted. As the weeks wore on, their continued insistence that Easter was the culprit seemed less and less plausible.