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Up to 7,000 Military Personnel Protest in Brussels against Pension Reform - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Brussels – Military personnel organized protests for the first time since 14 years in Brussels against pensions and wages laws, according to the Belgian Army Syndicates.

Around 10,000 military members protested near the train station in west Brussels; they wandered streets causing disturbance in the capital’s traffic.

Army soldiers have participated since 2015 in supporting security procedures in Belgium’s streets to secure strategic places, as part of combating terrorism.

In an open letter to the protesters, Steven Vandeput, Belgian defense minister admitted that the new laws adopted by the government will affect the military personnel but he reminded them with their important role in serving the country and the community.

In other statements, Vandeput revealed that talks with some governmental entities have sought a format that allows some military former employees to serve in other governmental departments.

These protest came after Prime Minister Charles Michelle refuted the allegations made by the Flemish Christian Democrats that corporation tax reform is henceforth coupled with the introduction of capital gains tax.

“There is no political coupling as such. This may be the case in the eyes of the Flemish Christian Democrats, but as Prime Minister, I must speak on behalf of four parties,” Michel said to media.

He added that they are considering how to decide upon corporation tax reform, which strengthens competitiveness, attractiveness and support to SMEs, and at the same time how to introduce fair taxation.

The government had not been able to agree on these two matters during the last budget conclave, so they are still on the table.

The matter is highly sensitive. Fifteen days ago, the President of the New Flemish Alliance, Bart De Wever asserted that the federal government should have reached agreement by mid-October.

Data released by the Italian National Statistics Institute showed that the national economy has marked an exceptional growth; the GDP has jumped by 0.9% during Q3 compared to the same period in 2015.