The trade unions deny disseminating fear by spreading lies, contrary to statements made by the Prime Minister, Charles Michel. He was speaking on VRT radio on Tuesday morning. The President of the Christian trade union, the CSC, Marc Leemans, reacted, “Our calculations are sound.” He was speaking at the national demonstration in Brussels. Leemans denounced, “This will affect the pensions of tens of thousands of individuals.”
Marc Leemans stresses, “The information that we are providing is based upon the decisions of the National Pensions Committee, government measures both taken and published in the Belgian official journal, and those stemming from parliamentary bills.” The trade unionist says that some pensions will be reduced by 250 to 300 euros per month. He goes on, “If we simply allow the government to implement its points-based system, citizens will see the difference.”
The President of the CSC says that the government will find money from the poorest people’s pockets. He states, “By 2020, 265 million euros will be in pension savings whilst the taxation of share accounts will only yield 250 million euros. By its policies the government is targeting people of average wealth, rather than the rich and super-rich.” He goes on, “We simply want a pension which enables us to grow old gracefully. This is becoming increasingly unlikely.”
In the end, thousands of demonstrators gathered around the Brussels-North railway station within a convivial atmosphere. The representatives of the three main trade unions made their speeches and the gathering departed around 11 a.m. towards the the Brussels-Midi railway station.