Major trade union demonstration will affect public transport in Brussels on Tuesday
The European Trade Union Confederation and the Belgian Confederations will hold a large-scale demonstration in Brussels on Tuesday morning. Public transport operator STIB expects significant disruptions.
Workers and union members from across Europe will gather to protest austerity in Belgium's capital, with speeches beginning at 11.00 on Tuesday in front of the Palais de Justice.
The exact route of the demonstration has yet to be confirmed, but STIB has warned that it will affect bus, tram and metro lines throughout the day. It has cautioned the public to plan alternative transport for Tuesday.
Representatives from different industry sectors are protesting the European Commission's strict fiscal rules in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), the Brussels Times reports. Belgium's socialist trade union ABVV explained that this would force member states to cut social security and public services.
Trade unions have argued that the EU's solidarity-based response to the Covid-19 pandemic proved there was enough funding available to aid in social protection. ABVV believes there should be investments in public services such as nurseries, education, healthcare and public transport.
The SGP dictates that member nations limit their annual budget deficit to 3 per cent of their GDP and public debt to 60 per cent of their GDP. It was created to ensure economic stability within the EU by ensuring member countries do not overspend.
The agreement was accused of favouritism towards certain nations when the Council of Ministers did not threaten penalties against France or Germany when both breached the 3 per cent limit in 2003. Other countries, such as Portugal and Greece, have been threatened with significant fines in the past.
Unions protest in Brussels © PHOTO IMAGO