Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Brussels on Tuesday, opposed to the free market policies of the centre-right government.
The austerity reforms will see cuts to public services, a real wage cut of 2% , enforced flexibility in the weekly hours worked and a reduction in pensions as well as a raising of the pension age.
“Today we have roughly a comfortable pension, but tomorrow are they going to do the same that they did to the Greek pensioners, that is cutting it by 20% and then another 20%?” said one protester.
Trade unions say the planned reforms cut into the foundations of Belgium’s welfare state.
A small number of protesters clashed with police, throwing rocks. At least one policeman and several demonstrators were injured
More demonstrations and national strikes are planned in the coming months.