Belgian housewives queued for food today (Saturday, 30 September) in anticipation of a strike by the owners of the country's shops, stores, garages, and other small businesses planned for Monday and Tuesday (October 2 and 3).
GV Street scene in Brussels (2 shots)
SV Large queues at supermarkets before strike takes place
CU INT, Shoppers queue at cash desk
SV Shoppers at vegetables stall (2 shots)
SV Shoppers at other stores
GV Shoppers in street market
SV People in streets
Initials SGM/0316 SGM/0325
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Background: Belgian housewives queued for food today (Saturday, 30 September) in anticipation of a strike by the owners of the country's shops, stores, garages, and other small businesses planned for Monday and Tuesday (October 2 and 3).
The strike by the country's Middle Classes is the latest in a series of problems that have threatened the coalition Government of the Prime Minister, Monsieur Gaston Eyskena.
Earlier this week chaos reigned at the nation's petrol stations because of a confrontation between petrol companies and the Government over the price of petrol. Some stations shut down, not knowing what to charge.
Then shop owners across the country refused to light up their windows to demonstrate their grievances against the Government. They feel not enough is being done for their economic survival.
The full-scale strike by the shopkeepers and other Middle Class businesses on Monday and Tuesday is a further move in the same dispute.
Mr Eyskens also has a continuing problem in handling demands for greater economic autonomy in the regions.
And for good measure there's the problem of finding a special status for a small French-speaking enclave in Flanders.
SYNOPSIS: In Brussels on Saturday Belgian housewives queued at supermarkets and food stores in anticipation of a strike by shopkeepers called for Monday and Tuesday.
The closing of the shops was planned as a protest by the Middle Classes against what they consider lack of Government concern for their interests. Also affected by the strike will be garages, theatres and countless other small businesses across the country.
The Middle Class rebellion is the latest in a line of embarrassments which have beset the coalition government of Monsieur Gaston Eyskens. It follows a chaotic situation at the country's petrol stations last week when prices varied wildly from place to place, and some stations shut down altogether, because of the confusion.