Belgium: Of Pits & Pills

Across Belgium last week, doctors quietly packed their black satchels, gassed up their autos and made sure that their passports were in order. They were preparing to flee into neighboring Holland or France and thus plunge Belgium into its second doctors' strike in less than two years, unless the government of Premier Pierre Harmel agreed to require patients to pay fees for doctors' services in the country's six Socialist-run clinics.

For most of the week the government had no time to worry about the doctors. It was trying to avert major violence in the "black triangle" mining district in eastern Belgium....

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