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Travel chaos amid Brussels strike

Published 22/04/2015

Eurostar services from London to Brussels are being affected by the strike
Eurostar services from London to Brussels are being affected by the strike

Much of the transport in Brussels came to a halt as public sector workers held a one-day strike over Belgian government austerity measures.

International train lines like Thalys and Eurostar, the national SNCB railway system, bus and underground services were all hit hard by the strike, which is to run until late on Wednesday.

The Brussels Nord station was fully closed and the trains to Brussels from Paris and London were also severely affected, although those between London and Paris were running as normal. Thalys fast trains to Amsterdam, Cologne and Paris were also hit.

Brussels airport authorities warned travellers to show up early and look for alternative transport, since although flights were unaffected getting to the airport was proving difficult.

The socialist ACOD union leading a protest said that cuts in budgets and staffing in public institutions by the centre-right government of Prime Minister Charles Michel have to soon take their toll on services.

"This is our only option: make sure that the government can see this strong signal," said ACOD leader Chris Reniers.

Employers' federations lamented the action, which kept many at home and further undermined productivity during difficult times.

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