600 post offices 'face closure'
23 February 2005, BRUSSESLS – Up to 600 regional post offices across Belgium could be closed within the next four years under plans to streamline the country's postal service, it was reported on Wednesday.
23 February 2005
BRUSSESLS – Up to 600 regional post offices across Belgium could be closed within the next four years under plans to streamline the country's postal service, it was reported on Wednesday.
Post office managers are considering the drastic cuts – which could see half of the country's local post offices closed down – in a bid to reduce losses, Le Soir reported.
Citing 'many sources' the newspaper said that at present only one in four of Belgium's 1,300 regional post offices is profitable.
Officially the Post Office insists no firm decisions have been taken on whether to close local branches.
"That kind of information is just a working hypothesis," Post Office spokesman Piet Van Speybroek told Le Soir.
The spokesman did confirm however that the Post Office was pushing ahead with plans to set up a network of 'post points' in Belgium, which will be created in places like supermarkets and railway stations.
But despite the official line, trade unions representing post office workers already fear a wave of redundancies could be on the way.
"If they close the branches, where will the personnel be re-assigned," asked union representative Jan Eyndels.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news