The Socialist cartel is alive and well in Mons, with the binmen as loyal henchmen. My reasoning? The rubbish collection of course. Or the rules surrounding it. Even more precisely, the type of bag you are supposed to put your household waste in to. I'd never really paid much attention to Mons' bin bags before...until the ones left behind by the previous tenants in my house had run out and I had to buy some new ones. I innocently bought your standard, sturdy, black types.
The result? They didn't collect them, for two weeks in a row. I noticed (by keeping a beady eye on every rubbish bag I walked past for the next week) that every single house, property and shop all put out the same particular white bin bag with red lettering marked on it. I tried, in vain, to buy these specific bags at numerous shops but couldn't find them anywhere, so I settled on any white bags I could find. And of course they didn't collect them. Then one week they did, then they didn't.
These damn bags will set you back €8.70 for 10. What kind of country thinks it's okay to charge such a ridiculous amount for bin bags? The same kind that thinks it's justified to force you to buy "their bin bags" and then charge you a stupid amount for the privilege. But, I have no choice. It's either buy their brand or never have your rubbish collected. And that's what happens when a place is run by a cartel. Long live free market capitalism and that thing called consumer choice; carefully monitored of course to prevent monopolies taking over! See "First" and its running (down) of Bristols' buses for an example of how bad they can be.