Thousands of people protested against soaring electricity prices and costs of living in the Belgian capital Brussels on Wednesday, following a similar protest the day before in Slovakia, and earlier this month in the Czech Republic.
In what has been dubbed “a national day of action”, as reported by the Associated Press, some 10,000 people protested across the country, demanding solutions to soaring electricity and natural gas prices and skyrocketing costs of living.
According to AP, citing a Belgian media poll, at a time when electricity and gas bills have nearly doubled from a year ago, some 64% of Belgians are concerned they may not be able to pay their energy bills.
In June, some 70,000 Belgium workers also took to the streets, protesting sharp spikes in the cost of living.
On Tuesday, similar protests were launched in Slovakia, where several thousand rallied in the capital Bratislava against high inflation. The anti-government protests were organized by the leftist opposition, but also joined by far-right forces. Protesters blame the government’s support of Ukraine for soaring inflation.
In the first week of September, mass protests also rocked the Czech Republic, with some 70,000 people gathering in the capital Prague to demonstrate against the government for skyrocketing costs of living in a move the Czech prime minister warned had been influenced by Russian propaganda.
Risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft’s civil unrest index shows that more than half of the 198 countries covered by the index saw an increase in civil unrest in the past quarter.
“The world is facing an unprecedented rise in civil unrest as governments of all stripes grapple with the impacts of inflation on the price of staple foods and energy,” principal analyst Torbjorn Soldvedt said.