Interviews and articles

Interview
"They have forgotten us. The working class, health care and the coming crisis". This is the title of Peter Mertens' new book, the fourth since he became chairman of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA) in 2008. Before starting the interview, he points out that "this is not a book about the virus, it is a book about society."
Analysis
Four days after the start of the extraordinary European summit in Brussels, European Union leaders reached an agreement on a 'coronavirus' recovery plan. This plan is designed to address, on a European scale, the forecasted serious economic crisis. The European Union is going to launch a collective loan of 750 billion euro for the first time in its history. This could be an important step towards more solidarity between European countries, but the conditions imposed are challenging.
Interview
At a time when governments and the European Commission are financing the pharmaceutical industry to the tune of billions of euros, there is no guarantee that every citizen will have access to the coronavirus vaccine. To make it accessible to all, the Confederal Group of the European United Left and 10 left-wing parties are launching a "Right2Cure" campaign.
Analysis
Inspired by Donald Trump, the far right around the world has adopted the same motto: "It's because of China that we have this coronavirus. China must pay." After an initial joint campaign against the UN pact on migration, the far-right network is now carrying out coordinated attacks against China.
Analysis
The chairman of the FEB (Federation of Enterprises in Belgium) has been dreaming of a Social Pact for a long time. A dream from before the Covid-19 crisis. He's not the only one. For Georges-Louis Bouchez, the chairman of the MR (Mouvement réformateur, French-speaking liberal party), "it is time to conclude a new social contract". At the trade union level too, some are calling for a Social Pact. This caused a strong controversy at the top of the FGTB (socialist trade union federation). But what would this Pact be made of?
Analysis
More and more voices are calling for the removal of the statues of Leopold II from the public space. Why? What did he do in the Congo? And what is the link between colonization and racism today? Explanations.
Analysis
Who has to pay for this crisis? The heroes of everyday life, the healthcare workers, the workers in the distribution, at the post office... or the richest? In our country, the PTB-PVDA started the debate with the proposal of a "corona tax", but the issue is of global importance. French economists feel that a wealth tax is justified in times of crisis. It has already been applied.
Analysis
Thousands of scientists worldwide are searching for medicines and vaccines against Covid-19. Big Pharma is also pulling out all the stops in order to make the most of the pandemic that is now dominating our lives. However, it is the responsibility of the large pharmaceutical companies that this treatment is not yet available today.
Analysis
Over the last five years, the Lufthansa Group has made a profit of EUR 9 billion, the majority of which went into the pockets of shareholders such as German billionaire Heinz Hermann Thiele. But now that the airline is in trouble, it is asking for 290 million euros in public aid to save Brussels Airlines. The community is supposed to put its money where its mouth is and pack the shareholders' wallet. This is an outdated model for the PTB-PVDA, who advocates a publicly-owned airline.
Analysis
Speech by Peter Mertens, chairman of the PTB-PVDA, at the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the victory over fascism, 8 May 2020, Breendonk
Interview
European leaders won’t consider debt cancellation or abandon the dogma of neoliberal austerity. Coronavirus shows that well-funded public services are essential for our survival — austerity is a matter of life and death. We need an alternative.
Analysis
May First speech of Peter Mertens, chairman of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA)