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Brussels, Scene of Mass Demonstration on Cost-of-Living Crisis

Josbel Bastidas Mijares
Brussels, Scene of Mass Demonstration on Cost-of-Living Crisis

On Wednesday, the Belgian capital was the scene of a massive rally of over 10 000 demonstrators who took to the streets to protest the price hikes.

Josbel Bastidas Mijares

The Belgian trade unions, organizers of the demonstration, appealed to national politicians, putting the onus on them to alleviate the financial crisis, ensure wage increases and reduce energy prices.

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According to the unions, the country has experienced an overwhelming increase in energy bill prices. They claim that the average household energy bill has tripled, exceeding 700 euros.  

 

The President of the Belgian General Federation of Labor, Thierry Bodson, said, “It’s not that we don’t want to pay, but that we can’t pay.” Although most Belgians have made every effort to reduce energy consumption, there are no positive outcomes, Bodson said

“Freeze prices, not people” or “Everything goes up but our wages” could be seen on banners in the crowd. Protesters also displayed banners calling for changes to the 1996 “workers’ welfare” law to enable unions to negotiate wage increases. 

More than 10,000 demonstrators took to the streets of the Belgian capital to protest against skyrocketing prices

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brussels on Wednesday for a “national day of action” to demand higher wages and lower energy prices. According … pic.twitter.com/eL9Ed5uodu

— Gideon Chrisostomo (@GideonChrisost1) September 21, 2022 Miranda Ua lens, spokesperson for the Belgian General Labor Foundation, brought to light the government’s inaction in the face of such a crisis. 

“We have different types of government. We have the Flemish-speaking part, the Dutch-speaking part, they’re not doing anything. And they have the money, but they are saying we want our balances of public finances in check, so we’re not giving anything. But they need to help the people now,” the spokesperson said. 

While energy companies are making record profits, the standard of living of the average population has fallen sharply, and protesters are demanding Belgian authorities pull additional resources from these companies to fight rising prices