Outgoing Minister of Telecommunications, Flemish Liberal Philippe De Backer, calls for the State’s withdrawal from Proximus in the coming years, he said Sunday during the TV programme “De Zevende Dag” (één-VRT)). Mr. De Backer still supports the decision to allow a fourth operator to enter the telecommunications market so that the high rates in force in Belgium decrease. Unlike others, within the opposition and unions, he does not believe that the announcement of the market opening to a fourth operator provoked Proximus’ social plan.
We learned during the past week that Proximus heads were elaborating a business transformation plan, which could result in the elimination of 1,900 jobs, but also the hiring of 1,250 persons. The state owns 53.6% of the company’s capital. The Prime Minister promised to receive the unions on Monday. Strike action is announced for Tuesday.
During the broadcast of “Zevende Dag,” Philippe De Backer expressed his desire to see social dialogue begin “as soon as possible.” The Flemish Liberal Minister also wants to dismantle the participation of the Belgian State in Proximus in the coming years. “A government runs a country, not companies,” Mr. De Backer said.