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Belgian business owners struggle with high energy bills

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Emmanuel Liemans runs a successful bakery in Amay, Belgium but says running a business has become “very complicated” due to the rise in prices.

His energy costs recently tripled and he said he was shocked at the change in price.

“One bill for €36,000 was an adjustment for the year 2021, and then, they calculated the energy costs at €14,800 per month,” Liemans told Euronews.

For the time being, he has not paid it, hoping there has been a mistake made by energy supplier Engie.

“At some point, someone needs to do something to cap prices or reduce them… it’s not possible,” he added.

It’s the same story for a local farmer who stopped at the bakery to deliver milk.

Arnaud Vandaele says his bills have risen from €1,500 per month to €9,000. Vandaele says he’s now forced to go the “anti-ecological route” by installing a power generator.

In nearby Huy, Euronews spoke to several people who said they were concerned about the energy crisis, with one shop owner, Justine, calling it the “talk of the town”.

She said people in Belgium have lost all their hope in the government and in European politicians.

Politicians have been meeting to approve emergency measures to address the crisis, but critics say they’ve been slow to act.

“It’s really an embarrassment,” one man told Euronews.

“We are wondering where we’re going to end up because we’re going to have to tighten our belts more and more.”

Watch the full report in the video player above.

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