VRT staff protest at proposed budget cuts

Around one hundred employees of the Flemish public broadcaster (VRT) took part in a demonstration on Monday. The demonstration was in protest at the budget cuts proposed by the new Flemish government. One demonstrator told journalists that “The VRT is treated worse than other public body and we can’t agree with this.”

The trades unions at the VRT hope to fight the planned national broadcast budget cuts by protesting at the Flemish parliament. This afternoon, Flemish prime minister Geert Bourgeois (Flemish nationalist) has presented the new government’s policy statement during the so-called September Declaration, a yearly report on the state of play in Flanders.

The unions fear that the public broadcaster will have to tighten its belt still further. They point out that they have already been making a considerable efforts since 2007.

“It was reported in the press that the VRT will have to save more than 100 million euros over the next five years. That’s a lot of jobs on the line and we certainly can’t agree with this”, according to Carlos Van Hoeymissen of the Christian Trade Union (ACV). “The VRT is treated worse than other public bodies.”