Expatica news

Belgian economy OK, for now

21 February 2005

BRUSSELS – A leading economist argued on Monday for change in the management of Belgium’s finances.

“Some structural reforms are necessary,” said Reginald Savage, the author of a new report titled Belgian Economy 1953-2000: ruptures and mutations.

Questioned by La Libre Belgique about his conclusions, Savage – who works at Leuven and Namur universities, argued it was time to “sign up to a win-win game” – one of more active, global European policies. He said this was necessary in the face of pressure to lower salaries and welfare benefits in an increasingly competitive economy.

He said the Belgian economy had survived much of the excessive fluctuations in world stock markets at the start of the 21st century, but he said there was no guarantee that situation would continue.

Savage wants to see policies designed to make Belgium’s economy more competitive and more sustainable, such as investment in research and development, rather than salary dumping.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news