A strike by 700-thousand self employed persons closed shops, restaurants, doctors' surgeries, news stands and stock broking firms in Bruseels on Monday.
GV Street of closed shops
CU Sign "Ferme, Gesloten...closed"
CU Another sign
SCUs Shuttered shops (2 shots)
SV Police patrolling street (4 shots)
GV Almost empty street
SCUs Closed shops
SV Closed service station
MV Police on patrol, PAN wagon
LV Street with people walking along
Initials SGM/2351 SGM/1102
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Background: A strike by 700-thousand self employed persons closed shops, restaurants, doctors' surgeries, news stands and stock broking firms in Bruseels on Monday.
The strike was called in protest against excessive tax forms, value added tax, and what the strikers saw as an incomplete social assistance scheme.
Police in riot gear patrolled the centre of the city in vans after threats against strike breakers. Many shops owned by large companies opened under police guard.
Petrol stations were also closed and owners said they might continue their strike until their grievances over recent price increases and stricter tax controls were settled.