The leaders of the trade unions striking today in Belgium had a common message for the leaders of the EU countries meeting today in Brussels: austerity measures are not a solution to the current economic crisis.
A national general strike was organized in Belgium today by the major trade unions. The movement coincided with the first meeting of 2012 of the European heads of states and governments, gathering in Brussels to discuss worrying issues such as unemployment and the ongoing Eurozone crisis.
Claude Rollin, Secretary General of one of the main trade unions on strike today, explained to the press on Monday that the austerity plans risk to throw Belgium into an unprecedented economic recession with dramatic social consequences. According to her, the current austerity measures penalize those who are already affected by the economic and financial crisis. "We are here, in front of the European Council and of the European Commission to tell the European leaders again that there are alternatives (to the austerity measures). And the first one is the Eurobonds, which will help the EU member states pay their debts without being victims of the financial speculations and without relying on austerity. And the Eurobonds will also help relaunch the economy", said Rollin.
Today's strike paralyzed the public transportation in Belgium, closed schools and the Charleroi airport, the second biggest airport in the country.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) also announced that a general strike in Europe will be organized on February 29.