Interviews and articles

Analysis
Dear friends, dear comrades, A friend in need is a friend indeed. That's what the popular wisdom says. This summer, there was a lot of need. And there were many friends. After the floods, there was an unprecedented wave of solidarity. From the very first day, thousands and thousands of volunteers went to Wallonia to help the people there. To empty the cellars. To distribute soup. To clean schools and shops.
Interview
Pensions remain a sensitive issue: the government wants to raise the pensionable age even further, while a majority of the population is calling for exactly the opposite. In order not to provoke resistance, the Minister for Pensions, Karine Lalieux (French-speaking Socialist Party), is quietly working on a new reform. Her plan is expected to be on the government's table in September. Kim De Witte, pension specialist of the PTB, explains the stakes of the new battle to come.
Analysis
Some of the parties on Rue de la Loi* intend to split up our country even further in 2024 and set the people of Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders against each other. However, the vast majority of Belgians are more than fed up with the division of our country and instead want more cooperation, more solidarity and more unity. That which unites us makes us stronger; that which divides us weakens us. The working class in our country has known this for a long time. Together, those of Liege, Ghent, Brussels, Charleroi, Antwerp and all the other regions have built the workers' movement of our small country. And they have built the wealth of our society and made a strong social security system possible. Together we are building a movement for the unity of our country, against the threat of a split. The split in our country is anti-social, costly, absurd and brutal. More unity is social, cheaper, efficient and humane. That is why we want the federal state to become the centre of gravity of our country again. We are one. Nous sommes un.
Analysis
A jar of chocolate spread. That's what the garbage collectors in Bruges get as a reward for their hard work. A jar of chocolate spread.
Analysis
A survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries conducted byThe People's Vaccine Alliance* indicates that two out of three of these suspect that we have a maximum of one year before the coronavirus mutates to the point where most first generation vaccines will lose their efficacy and new vaccines will be needed. So, we will need more vaccines soon. Not only in Europe, but also worldwide. Variants know no borders, after all.
Analysis
Foreword to the English edition of ‘They Have Forgotten Us’. With this English edition, ‘They Have Forgotten Us’ is being published in its fifth language (after Dutch, French, German, and Spanish). For that, I am extremely grateful to Vijay Prashad and LeftWord Books.
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