General strike grips Belgium, shuts down airports

By REUTERS
January 30, 2012 11:06

 
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BRUSSELS - Belgium's first general strike in almost two decades brought the country to a partial halt on Monday in an anti-austerity protest aimed at the government and EU leaders meeting in Brussels.

The entire rail network closed, buses and trams were idled, many schools and shops shut and production at the Audi and Volvo car plants stopped.

Charleroi Airport, a hub for Ryanair and other low-cost carriers, was forced to cancel all flights due to union plans to block the access road.

However, at Brussels airport most flights were running. India's Jet Airways, which uses Brussels as its European hub, rerouted flights via Amsterdam. United Continental canceled its services to and from the United States.

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