The pandemic exposed the fragile state of Europe’s public services after years of austerity. Now the European Council has backed a new set of austerian fiscal rules — imposing an estimated €100 billion in cuts, which will hit working-class people hardest.
Marc Botenga is an activist in the Belgian Workers’ Party (PTB) and a Member of the European Parliament.
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.
Last May, Marc Botenga was elected as the Belgian Workers’ Party’s first member of the European Parliament. In an interview he spoke of the elite echo chamber he found there — and how he’s trying to finally make labor’s voice heard within its walls.
Last week’s elections produced grim results for the Left across most of the continent. But in Belgium, the Workers’ Party made a historic breakthrough.
With this month’s European Parliament elections approaching, the media is fixated on the far right. But in Brussels itself, it’s the radical left that’s changing the debate.