Members of various trade unions wave flags and banners as they march during a demonstration to protest against the rising cost of living in Brussels, on June 20, 2022. (GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT / AP PHOTO)
BRUSSELS – A day of strikes in Belgium over the cost of living forced Brussels Airport to cancel all departing flights on Monday and halted many bus services across the country.
Inflation hit 9% in June in Belgium, mirroring sharp price rises elsewhere largely because the Ukrain crisis has hit grain supply and caused the cost of energy to spike
Unions said they expected tens of thousands of people to attend a protest in Brussels. Train services were running, partly to allow protesters to converge on the capital.
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Brussels Airport said it could not allow passenger flights to depart because the industrial action extended to security personnel. Local public transport was running minimal services.
Inflation hit 9% in June in Belgium, mirroring sharp price rises elsewhere largely because the Russia-Ukraine conflict has hit grain supply and caused the cost of energy to spike.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Belgian workers were better protected than counterparts in most other European Union countries because wages were indexed to inflation.
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He told public broadcaster RTBF the government had extended measures to reduce sales tax on gas, electricity and fuel until the end of the year.