PM De Croo calls for unions and employers “to stop shouting at each other”
Speaking against the backdrop of the unions’ National Day of Action in support of spending power and against wage restraint PM Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) has claimed that thanks to the index people’s spending power in Belgium enjoys the greatest protection of any country in the Eurozone.
Mr De Croo regrets today’s disruption and points to the measures the federal government has already taken to protect spending power. At the same time the Belgian leader acknowledges that there are people who are having a very hard time. Mr De Croo urges unions and employers to join the government in resolving the crisis.
The PM has little understanding for the way the unions have organised what he labels a “general strike and demo”. “These protests are largely paralysing the country and disrupting the lives of people who have no choice”.
The premier says the unions can’t argue the debate needs to be launched: “Everybody knows we are in a very difficult situation after the pandemic and now with war in Ukraine”.
The premier points to the measures the government has taken “which experts say are the most effective”. Mr De Croo acknowledges the measures won’t bring a full solution for everybody “but they go a long way, especially if you add the automatic indexation of wages into the mix”.
“Experts say that people in our country have greater protection of their spending power than in any other Eurozone country”.
“I understand there are groups that are feeling a far greater impact and that there are people that are having a particularly hard time. At a moment like this I expect social partners, unions and employers to sit down round the table and not to stand there shouting at each other. In unprecedented times you can only make headway if you listen to each other”.