Belgian workers mass in streets

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BRUSSELS (Reuter) - Belgian workers demonstrated and held scattered strikes yesterday to protest against domestic austerity plans and to draw the attention of the European Union summit discussing the crisis of high unemployment.

Central Brussels was transformed into a sea of red flags and banners carried by socialist trade unionists who marched through the capital to try to embarrass the Belgian government, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. 'One Europe for the workers', read one banner. The marchers were also seeking to force the shaky coalition of the Prime Minister, Jean-Luc Dehaene, to dilute its belt-tightening measures.