Flemish business warns against economic bloodbath

The Flemish employers’ organisation VOKA has called on the government to allow a restart of economic activity ASAP.  The organisation fears that otherwise an economic bloodbath awaits us.  One in five companies believes it will sack staff.

Voka chief Hans Maertens told VRT that his companies and staff are ready: “Let us restart our businesses! Make sure communication is clear and allow businesses that can guarantee the safety of staff and customers to reopen.  Don’t wait.  The longer it takes, the more the economy is bleeding and temporary unemployment will become permanent for more and more people.”

A survey among a thousand Flemish businesses showed that one in five fears it will have to sack staff.  One in four doesn’t know if it will be able to keep all its staff. On a more upbeat note the survey also revealed 85% of businesses said they could make workplaces safe for staff and customers.  Only 4% indicated they weren’t ready to restart.

Hans Maertens: “We must find a balance between economy and health.  The authorities must provide instructions, but put trust in people in the field to implement them.  In recent weeks we have shown what we can do.  Allow our businesses to restart to ensure the economy doesn’t receive even harder blows.”