Thousands protest in Brussels over cost-of-living crisis, amid rising inflation in Europe
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brussels on Friday to protest against the rising cost-of-living, disrupting Belgium’s public transport systems and this week's European Union (EU) summit.
The Brussels police said 16,500 people had turned up at the demonstration, which was organised by trade unions representing many public sector workers demanding better pay and working conditions as inflation rises across Europe.
"Increase Wages And Pensions!," read one banner held aloft by a protester.
With people increasingly under pressure from high prices, the unions demanded pay increases at a time when companies such as energy giants are making massive profits. They're asking for a freeze in energy prices and increased taxation on capital.
“We won't stop unless workers get what they deserve,” the unions said in a statement.
Meanwhile, demonstrators in several cities across Italy took to the streets after two of the country's largest unions, CGIL and UIL, staged a one-day walkout.
In London, the job satisfaction of the railway workers, who have begun another 48 hours of industrial action, has long since been derailed.
Backed by the RMT union, this is the sector's second two-day strike so far this week and it looks like it will not be the last of this year.
In France, train controllers, who are threatening to strike during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, have until Monday to respond to a proposed wage increase from management.