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Striking Brussels firemen soak cops, PM office (VIDEO)

Published time: February 10, 2012 14:43
Edited time: February 10, 2012 19:41

Firemen spray water outside a cabinet meeting during a demonstration in Brussels. (Reuters / Yves Herman)

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When the Belgian government decided to pour cold water on the country’s firefighters and increase their retirement age, the men struck back with the same method…literally.

­Several hundred firemen broke through police cordons and hosed down the prime minister's office. The men, dressed in full gear, were smiling as they directed the water at the building…and the small bunch of police officers huddled in front of it. 


The law enforcement men tried to hide behind their Plexiglas shields, but to little avail; they were all soaked within minutes. Showing a rather wicked sense of humor, the firemen then turned to fire extinguishers – and the soaked representatives of Belgium’s police force were swallowed by a cloud of white foam, emerging unharmed but completely blanketed in the substance.  


Firefighters want to keep their early retirement age at 58, arguing their arduous job does not allow them to work into their 60s. Such demands run counter to government plans to have the overwhelming majority of people work two years beyond 65, so the government can afford an ever-increasing pension bill as Belgium's population ages.