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Common Dreams

'Hose Streets? Our Streets!' Belgian Firefighters Turn Their Ire (and Hoses) on Austerity

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Common Dreams staff report

In a great reversal from most recent street protests, Belgian firefighters today, who were out in force to voice their opposition to government proposed cuts to their retirement plans, turned their firehoses on the prime minister's office.

According to the Associated Press in Brussels:

Several hundred Belgian firefighters have broken through police lines in Brussels and hosed down the prime minister's office in protest at the government's tougher retirement plans.

The firefighters want to keep their early retirement age at 58, arguing their arduous job does not allow them to work into their 60s.

And RT added in a report:

The law enforcement men tried to hide behind their Plexiglas shields, but to little avail; they were all soaked within minutes. Showing a rather wicked sense of humor, the firemen then turned to fire extinguishers – and the soaked representatives of Belgium’s police force were swallowed by a cloud of white foam, emerging unharmed but completely blanketed in the substance.

Firefighters want to keep their early retirement age at 58, arguing their arduous job does not allow them to work into their 60s. Such demands run counter to government plans to have the overwhelming majority of people work two years beyond 65, so the government can afford an ever-increasing pension bill as Belgium's population ages.

And this video:

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