VRT employees take to the streets to protest against the budget cuts

Employees of the Flemish public broadcaster have held a march from the VRT premises to the Martelarenplein in central Brussels - where the office of the Flemish PM is located - to voice their protests against the announced budget cuts. At the Martelarenplein, they were welcomed by sympathisers from the cultural and care sector who are also targeted by the austerity measures. 

The march took place this afternoon. About 600 employees joined the walk. The crowd grew to about 1,200 at the Martelarenplein, where an event took place with interviews and music.

Marleen Merckx, a popular actress who plays in the soap opera "Thuis", said that "the VRT stands for quality. If our financial means keep diminishing, we won't be able to keep delivering this quality." 

Jan Sprengers of the VRT's Radio 1 said that "this is about our future. We take to the streets to say the VRT is indispensable. Not just for us, but for everyone." 

The new Media Minister Benjamin Dalle (Christian democrat) received a delegation in his office and said that "the Flemish government values a high-quality and strong public broadcaster, but also wants to invest in education and care." He added that this means that the VRT also has to cut costs.  Mr Dalle said that he understands the concerns of VRT staff , and that he intends to engage in dialogue.