To protest skyrocketing costs, more than 10,000 people marched through the Belgian capital.
On Wednesday, thousands of protestors marched through Brussels in support of a democratic society. “national day of action”To demand lower wages and higher energy prices. According to police, over 10,000 people descended on the Belgian capital as it was revealed that some 64% of the country’s citizens are afraid they may not be able to pay their bills.
The demonstrations were organized by Belgian trade unions, who claim that the average energy bill for families in the country has already increased threefold to more than €700 ($691) a month.
“It’s not that we don’t want to pay, but we can’t pay,”Thierry Bodson was chairman of The General Labor Federation of Belgium and spoke in front of thousands of labor activists at Place de la Monnaie. While the average Belgian family only makes €2,500 ($2,468) a month, Bodson pointed out that it’s “absolutely impossible”For someone who is below this line, it will be difficult to pay their bills.
Addressing the government’s recommendation for citizens to use less energy, Bodson said this was “pointless,”Although most Belgians took all the measures possible to reduce their energy use, it wasn’t enough.
Placards seen in the crowds shared Bodson’s sentiments with some reading “Freeze prices, not people,” “Everything is going up except our wages.”
Protesters demand that Belgian authorities take more action to reduce skyrocketing costs. They claim that they need additional support from the energy companies, which have made record profits and earned billions of dollars this year while average living standards are falling.
Last month, Belgium’s Statbel statistics agency reported that inflation in the country had jumped to 9.94% amid a surge in energy prices, almost reaching a record set in 1976.
Alexander de Croo, the Belgian Prime Minister has already warned of this. “the next five to ten winters will be difficult”Due to record-breaking gas prices, however, it stated that Belgium would weather the crisis “if we support each other in these difficult times.”