Interviews and articles

Analysis
Prevention must be a crucial aspect of our healthcare response to the corona pandemic. Both to prevent the spread of the virus and to deal with the social consequences of the corona crisis. The fact that many countries fall short in this respect has a lot to do with the organisation of their health care. This brings the importance of strong public health care back to the fore.
Analysis
The fight against the coronavirus pandemic is often compared to a war. We are indeed facing a titanic challenge. But, when going up to the front, it is better to be alert, resilient and well-rested than already exhausted. For decades, our Western health care system has been subjected to waves of budget cuts and privatization. Our economy itself was already in bad shape when it was hit hard by this unforeseen crisis. Following the 2008 crisis, we must draw genuine conclusions from this coronavirus crisis and effect radical system change. Our health, our social future and the climate are at stake.
Interview
Interview with Bert De Belder, Head, Department of International Relations of the PTB-PVDA (Workers' Party of Belgium)
Analysis
The (European) emperor is naked. Failed. After years of austerity measures, the healthcare system is failing the corona virus stress test miserably. Hospitals are short of beds, staff, respirators, masks etc. In short, they are lacking the necessary resources. Applauding the healthcare workers is fantastic, but it is not enough. We now have to do everything we can to stop the epidemic and restore a health system worthy of the name. To this end, tough choices will have to be made, including at European level.
Interview
We speak to Dr. Hanne Bosselaers from Médecine pour le Peuple (MPLP) – an initiative of the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) – which seeks to provide accessible and quality health and medical care to the people. Médecine pour le Peuple (MPLP) operates 11 multidisciplinary medical action centers with about 200 staff members caring for around 25,000 patients.
Interview
Sofie Merckx, 45, is a general practitioner and works at the Medics for the people (Médecine pour le people, MPLP) health center in Charleroi, Belgium. From 2012 to 2019 she has been member of the city council of Charleroi for the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA). In 2019 she has been elected member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.
Analysis
Thursday March 19 is the day the number of corona virus deaths in Italy surpassed China’s. It is also the first day no new infections were detected in China. Other East Asian countries, like Japan, Singapore and South Korea, have managed to contain the corona epidemic better than most countries in Western Europe. What are the reasons?
Analysis
Throughout the European Union, national governments are attacking the most solidarity-based pension systems. A coordinated attack from the European institutions. A quick look at Spain, France and Germany.
Analysis
In April 2017, the Croatian government published a "pension reform programme" aimed at increasing the retirement age from 65 to 67 and tightening the conditions for early retirement. This programme has been approved by Parliament. Not by the workers, however, who have forced the government to back down. Background of a victory. (photo : Ivan Blazevic, responsible for the campaign in the city of Crikvenica. D.R.)
Analysis
French workers are fighting against Macron's pension reform. In Belgium, we have pushed back the previous government of Charles Michel and its points-based pension. In Spain, it is the "pensionistas" who march every Monday demanding dignified pensions. In Croatia, the trade unions have obtained the return of the legal retirement age from 67 to 65... This struggle in defence of our pensions is sweeping through many European countries. Coincidence?
Analysis
While the government in France faces a lot of resistance against its pension reform project, in Belgium they remember a similar project. Two years ago the government and employers tried to impose a pension with points. The workers succeeded to get them to back out. A brief look at this Belgian victory.
Interview
Members of parliament who receive more than 11,000 euros per month, a Commission that defends European multinationals… Welcome to the marvellous world of the European Union. A world discovered from inside by the PTB's member of the European Parliament Marc Botenga (GUE/NGL). Travel account.