Europe

Ten of thousands protest Belgian social, economic policies

  • Union members march with banners and balloons during a demonstration regarding labor reforms in Brussels on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Union members march with banners and balloons during a demonstration regarding labor reforms in Brussels on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Union members put together a mannequin with a poster of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel under the slogan 'Social Dismantling' during a demonstration regarding labor reforms in Brussels on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Union members put together a mannequin with a poster of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel under the slogan 'Social Dismantling' during a demonstration regarding labor reforms in Brussels on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Masked protesters clash with riot police during a protest against new working regulations in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Belgian riot police fired a water cannon at protesters Tuesday after fighting broke out at the end of a major anti-austerity demonstration attended by tens of thousands of people in central Brussels. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

    Masked protesters clash with riot police during a protest against new working regulations in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Belgian riot police fired a water cannon at protesters Tuesday after fighting broke out at the end of a major anti-austerity demonstration attended by tens of thousands of people in central Brussels. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)  (The Associated Press)

Ten of thousands of demonstrators have marched through the center of Brussels to protest the center-right government's social and economic policies, which trade unions say cut deep into the foundations of Belgium's welfare state.

Under the slogan "Our cup runs over" the main unions joined in the march, united in their opposition against moves to increase workers' flexibility at work, longer careers before pensions kick in and less pay under tougher conditions.

The trade unions say the center-right free market policies of Liberal Prime Minister Charles Michel over the past two years are costing an average family some 100 euros ($112) a month, while the promise of many extra jobs remains elusive. Instead the trade unions want the government to tackle tax evasion.