Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the Belgian capital city of Brussels to protest against the government’s austerity measures.

Some 17,000 Belgians coming from various cities participated in the protest rally on Sunday, police sources said.

A number of the protesters shouted slogans like, “Yes, there is an alternative” to government savings. They also called for a fair tax system and a better distribution of government spending.

The demonstration came a day before a series of strikes which are scheduled to be staged across the country.

The strikes on Monday are expected to attract about 7,000 people just in the capital, and could disrupt public transport, reported Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

European countries are struggling with an economic crisis that erupted in early 2008, leaving millions unemployed and in financial distress.

According to official figures, over 125 million people across the EU, about a quarter of the bloc’s entire population, either live in poverty or are at the risk of poverty.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive protests in many European countries.


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