Taxi drivers in Brussels to protest against mandatory Dutch language exam

Brussels, Dec 29 (UNI) Taxi drivers serving Brussels Airport in Belgium’s capital to protest on Friday against the government’s proposal requiring them to pass a mandatory Dutch language exam Starting July 2024, Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported.

The drivers, in coordination with three major unions, will suspend customer service for two and a half hours on Friday, the report said.

The majority of people in Brussels speak French, but the airport is located in the municipality of Zaventem near the capital within the administrative boundaries of the Flemish Region, dominated by Dutch-speaking people. The authorities of this region have obliged Francophone drivers to pass a mandatory Dutch language exam starting July 2024, without which they could be denied renewal of their permit to work in the airport area. The taxi drivers will be required to pass not only an oral but also a written exam. Over 70% of taxi drivers fear that they will not be able to pass the exam and will lose their jobs.

The Flemish authorities believe that knowledge of the Dutch language is necessary to work with customers and make taxi services more attractive to the local population.

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