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Belgian rail strike brings services to standstill

Belgian rail strikers Image copyright Getty Images

The start of a two-day rail strike in Belgium has almost completely paralysed train services in and around the capital, Brussels.

The strikes have also caused severe delays and disruption to Eurostar services to Paris and London.

Belgian rail unions are protesting against government reforms designed to streamline services and make the industry more efficient.

Unions say the plans will cost thousands of jobs and cut services.

The unions also maintain there were no serious negotiations with government officials during 2015 to seek a compromise on the reforms.

As a result, they said, they had no choice but to take strike action.

Brussels's main station, the Gare du Midi, was largely deserted on Wednesday as the strike action began.

Officials said the Thalys line to Paris and Eurostar services to London would be cut or severely affected in Belgium for the next two days.

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