The business community is asking governments to quickly take the necessary measures against the derailing energy crisis. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is holding consultations today with representatives of employers’ organizations and the various governments. Concrete measures will not be announced afterwards, but the employers have already insisted on quick measures in advance.
For FEB CEO Pieter Timmermans, the measures had to have been taken yesterday, and Frank Beckx of Voka, the federation of the chemical industry, also argued in favor of not losing a day. The Flemish government has already announced that the September declaration at the end of this month would contain a package of measures. That statement comes too late, says Beckx. “Every day counts, because every day we hear stories about companies getting into trouble and deciding to shut down production,” said the essenscia chief executive.
The same sound also with Danny Van Assche (Unizo). “Various measures have already been taken for the families,” said Van Assche. “We don’t criticize that, but we shouldn’t forget the entrepreneurs either. Because without the business community, our families will also get into trouble.”
Measures are therefore not expected today, and that was also stated by the employers present. “It’s important that we get perspective today,” Beckx said. Timmermans hopes to have an idea of the direction in which any measures will go by tonight.
The focus of today’s consultation is on energy measures, and Pieter Timmermans also emphasized this. However, due to increasing inflation, employers also have to deal with rising wage costs. Upon entering 16 Wetstraat, none of the employers advocated abolishing automatic wage indexation, although Beckx (Voka) did call on the unions for common sense. “Now is not the time to demand additional wage surcharges: there is no room for that. Let us bury the hatchet.”
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