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Strike disrupts travel in Brussels

A strike against government austerity plans has badly disrupted rail and air services to and from the Belgian capital Brussels.

About 44% of flights at the city's main airport were cancelled.

Union leaders announced they have also shut down Eurostar and Thalys train services to and from London, Paris and other international destinations.

Metro, bus and tram services in Brussels itself ground to a halt.

The one-day strike, which also affects the French-speaking Brabant region south of Brussels, is the latest in a series of union actions intended to force the government of PM Charles Michel to backtrack on a programme to reform pensions, cut health and social security budgets and raise the retirement age.

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