Thousands of people gathered in the Belgian city
of Genk on Sunday for a march in solidarity with the workers of a
local Ford factory that is to be shuttered by the end of 2014.
The Belga news agency reported that an estimated 20,000 people had shown up for the "march for the future" in the center of Genk. Trade unionists, politicians, youth groups and local religious figures had all been expected to take part.
US carmaker Ford announced last month that it planned to close the factory in the north-east of Belgium, which employs 4,300 people and manufactures the mid-range Mondeo, as well as the S-Max and the Galaxy vans. Ford is considering shifting production to Spain.
It attributed the Genk closure to a drop in demand for cars in Western Europe since 2007. Belgian officials have called it a "tragedy" for the economy.
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