Interviews and articles

Analysis
What does the shortage of nurses has in common with the increase in our electricity bills? These are the perverse effects of privatization. In recent decades, public companies have been sold to the private sector by our governments, with disastrous consequences. All over the world, citizens are mobilizing to take these companies back in hand. With victories in hand.
Analysis
Lumumba is a symbol of the Congolese people's struggle for independence. In Africa, he is put on an equal footing as all the major leaders in the fight against colonialism. But who was Patrice Lumumba and why is it so important to keep his memory alive?
Interview
Do you know any MPs who spend two days a week working on a production line in a factory? Meet Francis Dagrin, Brussels deputy of the PTB.
Analysis
When I got here, I ran into a childhood friend I hadn't seen in a long time. He became a delivery boy. He was getting out of his van, a package in his hand, and he said, "I'm exhausted. I deliver Zalando, Amazon... I'm on the road all day. Little hours till late at night. With the overtime that's unpaid." I asked him how much money he made on this job. "Not even 1,400 euros. " A pittance. How can we let this happen?
Analysis
"We've known this since Adam Smith, but this is a strong reminder: competition works in the public interest." This is the reaction of Johan Van Overtveldt, former Minister of Finance and now MEP for the N-VA (rightist Flemish nationalist party), to the announcement of the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. By referring to the economist known as "the father of capitalism", he clearly means that we owe the development of vaccines against Covid-19 to the capitalist free market and the benevolence of the pharmaceutical multinationals. There are at least five reasons why he's completely off the mark.
Analysis
In April, the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, made an unexpected but crucial promise: the future Covid-19 vaccine would be a common good. Since then, she's been back-pedaling. Bad news for everyone
Interview
Sofie Merckx is a doctor and member of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA). She explains to us the action of Medicine for the People, an initiative of her party which has been offering free medical care for almost 50 years and mobilizes patients and carers in many thematic campaigns, which has long displeased the Belgian Order of Physicians. For her, the right to health is not limited to curative medicine, but implies being able to live in good health in all aspects of life, including at work. She also looks back at the management of the pandemic and the current political situation in Belgium, as a new government has just been formed.
Analysis
A new vaccine, developed by the US' Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, is believed to be effective at 90 %. This rightly raises a lot of hope. Such a vaccine would be a great help in the fight against the coronavirus. The European Commission immediately concluded a costly contract with the company. However, many questions arise. Especially since it now appears that the CEO of Pfizer sold 62 % of his shares on the day of the announcement. Is it mainly a publicity stunt to boost Pfizer's share price? And will the vaccine be accesible?
Analysis
On November 14th, Parti Socialiste (PS) Deputy Prime Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne stated in an interview with the financial newspaper De Tijd that "using a megaphone to demonstrate is not going to result in a revaluation of the lowest pensions". This gentleman is the governmental leader of the main left-wing party present in the Vivaldi coalition (that, like the composer's Four Seasons, includes 4 major political families: liberals, social democrats, christian democrats and greens, Ed). Like the rest of his interview, this statement reveals both the evolution of the Belgian PS and its fundamental difference with a Marxist party like the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA).
Interview
The ink had barely dried on the new government's agreement when the coronavirus pandemic entered its second wave. Solidaire went to meet the PTB spokesperson in order to talk about this issue. This encounter was also an opportunity to proceed to an in-depth analysis of the new political situation created by the 'Vivaldi' government that regroups the four main political families, like the Four Seasons: Liberals, Social Democrats, Christian Democrats and Greens.
Analysis
In September, the company announced that about 100 jobs were threatened in Belgium. The unions have just learned during a video conference that this figure is doubled ... The aviation sector has been badly affected by the coronavirus crisis. Big aviation multinationals have been getting in each other's way in search of help from a number of states. That's quite ironic. When all goes well, they pay out astronomical dividends to their shareholders. When things go wrong, they make their workers pay and expect the community to pay the piper. In Germany, Lufthansa will thus be granted 12 billion euros of public money to survive, while the company has earned 9 billion of profit over the past 5 years.
Interview
On 17 July, the Federal Parliament set up a commission to examine Belgium's colonial past and draw lessons for the present and the future. Nabil Boukili, MP for the PTB-PVDA, who has been fighting racism and colonialism on the ground for years, is a member of this committee and is its rapporteur. He explains to us where this commission comes from and what it's meaning is.