Brussels unemployment 'racism'

16th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

16 December 2003, BRUSSELS – A Belgian MP has accused the federal government of "anti-Bruxellois racism" after the latest unemployment figures revealed that the capital has the highest rate of joblessness in the country despite the creation of thousands of jobs.

16 December 2003

BRUSSELS – A Belgian MP has accused the federal government of "anti-Bruxellois racism" after the latest unemployment figures revealed that the capital has the highest rate of joblessness in the country despite the creation of thousands of jobs.

The paradox between one in six new jobs in Belgium being created in Brussels, and yet the region is suffering the worst from unemployment, is explained by the fact that 55 percent of Brussels jobs are held by Flemish and Walloon commuters.

“It’s anti-Bruxellois racism pure and simple,” Green MP Christos Doulkeridis told Le Soir.

“Nobody defends Brussels at the federal level – it was true in the night flight dossier as well as in the area of employment,” he said.

At the federal level, the Brussels population is under-represented compared with their slice of the Belgian population.

Just over half of Brussels’ public service employees live in one of the region’s 19 communes, compared to Flanders, where 97.5 percent of civil servants live in the region.

Brussels public transport’s workforce is also only half made up of local manpower, compared 98.8 percent in Flanders and 70 percent in Wallonia.

The port of Brussels falls even lower, with only 47.3 percent of its workforce coming from the Brussels region, while only 900 Brussels rail workers out of almost 40,000 are from the region.

The trend continues with the Brussels post office, where only 4.5 percent of the workforce comes from Brussels, and telecommunication provider Belgacom, with 15 percent of their workforce being Brussels citizens.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news

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