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European Journal

Belgium: Unemployment threatens to overwhelm a city

For the last year the city of Genk has been living in a state of shock, after the car manufacturer Ford announced it will close its factory there in 2014.

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Only a few hundred of the people affected have been able to find new jobs. The majority is continuing to work at Ford on reduced shifts and will soon be out of a job. About 10,000 people are thought to be affected - that's nearly one sixth of the city's inhabitants. And they have little hope of receiving any special assistance from the authorities. Genk is already on the verge of bankruptcy.