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The global crisis led to a smaller increase in the unemployment rate than in most other OECD countries as employment has been sustained through intensive use of reduced working time schemes.
The road ahead will not be easy, though: financial market concerns about sovereign debt are extending to a growing number of countries and now they threaten to include Belgium. Thus fiscal sustainability and higher growth are the backbone of our main recommendations in this Survey. With a public debt at 97% of GDP, a renewed and sustained effort to prefund ageing costs is needed, including revisiting intergovernmental prefunding