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Thousands protest cost-of-living crisis in EU country

The rally in Belgium’s capital gathered some 16,500 people, according to the police

Thousands took to the streets in Brussels on Friday to demand a freeze on spiking energy prices, and better pay, amid high inflation in Belgium and the EU.

Temperatures in the Belgian capital fell below zero Celsius on the day, but the rally still attracted more than 16,500 people, according to police.

The action was supported by some of the leading trade unions, which led to disruptions of public services and transport systems in Brussels and elsewhere across the country. The capital’s airport said that some flights had to be canceled.

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“Increase Wages and Pensions!” read one of the protesters’ banners.

A woman who joined the march said she wanted “the administration to freeze the piercings, not the people.”

The unions believe that Belgian authorities should follow the example of neighboring France and cap energy prices. They said in a joint statement that they won’t stop protesting until the workers get what they demand.

“Thousands of people are sending a clear message to the government: things can’t go on like this,” leader of the Workers’ Party of Belgium Hedebouw Raoul insisted.

Gas and electricity prices have surged in Europe as the economic strain caused by Covid-19 was further aggravated by the fallout of EU sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent reduction of Russian energy supplies to the bloc.

Last month, Belgium’s headline inflation figure reached 10.63%, while consumer inflation within the euro zone as a whole stood at around 10%.

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READ MORE: Thousands rally over Irish housing crisis

Last month, Belgium’s headline inflation figure reached 10.63%, while consumer inflation within the euro zone as a whole stood at around 10%.

December 17, 2022 at 07:20PM
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