Monday, 15 December 2014

Belgium Hit By General Strike............

BRUSSELS—A general strike in Belgium paralyzed air and rail traffic and affected companies throughout the country on Monday, as trade unions capped a month of protests against government austerity policies.
The strike was over measures by the nation’s business-friendly government to cut employees’ income, extend working hours and restrict social services. It also had an international impact by shutting down Brussels Airport, a busy hub with connections throughout Europe and beyond.
A spokeswoman for the airport, Florence Muls, said that about 600 flights had been canceled, affecting 50,000 passengers.
The strike did not stop the European Union’s foreign ministers from meeting at the European Council building in Brussels.
The series of labor actions, the most serious in years, started last month with a demonstration that drew 120,000 protesters.