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    A Belgian soldier shouts at police officers during a protest by soldiers against planned pension reforms in central Brussels, Belgium, November 15, 2016.

    Up to 7,000 Military Personnel Protest in Brussels Against Pension Reform

    © REUTERS / Yves Herman
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    About 5,000-7,000 military personnel participate on Tuesday in a protest march in Brussels, opposing the extension of the retirement age for the military, a representative of the military trade union said.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — On October 15, the Belgian government decided to increase the retirement age of military personnel from 56 to 63 years beginning 2017, as well as to introduce new career conditions, for instance, setting a minimum number of service years, before receiving the retirement pension.

    The march comes on the day of the king’s birthday, as under the constitution, the Belgian military staff are forbidden to hold strikes, though they can participate in demonstrations during holidays.

    Representatives of the military personnel are set to meet with Defense Minister Steven Vandeput.

    Following a series of terrorist attacks worldwide, the Belgian authorities announced in April a third level of terrorist threat and increased the number of military personnel providing security in the country.

    According to the military trade union, the number of resignation tenders and divorces in the families of military personnel has significantly increased due to heavy workload of the military.

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