By Will Morrow, 14 February 2019
Large parts of Belgium were brought to a standstill yesterday, as tens of thousands of workers took part in a national 24-hour strike to demand wage increases.
By Will Morrow, 13 February 2019
As strikes and protests grow across Europe, anger is mounting among Belgian workers at low wages enforced by state-run talks between business and the unions.
By Alejandro López, 26 July 2018
The unrelenting pursuit of rapper Josep Miquel Beltrán (stage name Valtònyc) is further evidence of the growing assault on free speech in Spain and throughout Europe.
By Alejandro López, 26 July 2018
“They put me on trial for telling true, objective facts, and that is because what is happening is scary. People are not going to be able to say what they think about those who are stealing public money from us, money taken out of our wages every month. We have the right to speak out, to criticize, to get angry.”
By Olivier Laurent, 6 March 2018
The country will spend billions of euros to buy weapons systems designed not only for neo-colonial wars but also large-scale land warfare in Europe itself.
By Ross Mitchell, 30 August 2017
The Caterpillar plant in Gosselies was the biggest industrial site in Wallonia, Belgium’s southern, primarily French-speaking region.
By Ross Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 7 October 2016
Despite the efforts of the unions and pseudo-left groups to smother opposition to Caterpillar’s closure plans, workers demonstrated their determination to fight with.
By Kumaran Ira, 20 June 2016
Three suspects were charged with preparing terror attacks on gatherings of football fans after police raided over 100 locations across Belgium.
By Ross Mitchell and Paul Bond, 13 June 2016
The unions in Belgium and France view a joint struggle by workers in both countries as a threat.
By Ross Mitchell, 27 May 2016
Rail workers began an indefinite strike Wednesday evening in Belgium, paralysing mass transit and creating traffic jams in Brussels.
By Kumaran Ira, 26 May 2016
Police repression of anti-austerity protests in France and Belgium is enraging workers and driving broader layers of the working class into struggle.
By Ross Mitchell, 25 May 2016
The government plans to shrink the public sector by 20 percent, with pay and staffing being cut by 10 percent by 2020 overall.
By Anthony Torres, 4 May 2016
The growth of Islamist networks in Europe, mobilized by NATO in its war in Syria, was the basic precondition for the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels.
By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2016
Mohamed Abrini’s accomplices were all known to intelligence services, as were their aliases and their movements, but they were not arrested.
By Alex Lantier, 15 April 2016
Unions are negotiating with Belgocontrol and the state over a reactionary contract calling for a three-year increase in the retirement age, to 58.
By Robert Stevens, 14 April 2016
The working class throughout Belgium and Europe must come to the defense of the striking air traffic controllers, who have taken a courageous stand against attacks on retirement.
By Stéphane Hugues, 29 March 2016
Officials are inciting anti-Muslim racism to cover up the role of the state in creating Islamist terror networks in the war for regime change in Syria.
By Alex Lantier, 28 March 2016
Islamist networks built up by the US and its European allies to provide fighters for their regime-change operation in Syria are bringing the war back to Europe, with horrific consequences.
By Alex Lantier, 26 March 2016
Friday saw more revelations of inexplicable lapses by Belgian and allied security forces that helped terrorists evade detection before the Brussels attacks.
By Johannes Stern, 26 March 2016
The German interior minister is using Tuesday’s attacks to press for further police powers in Germany and throughout Europe.
By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 24 March 2016
Claims that the attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people occurred because Belgian and allied intelligence agencies somehow failed to “connect the dots” are not credible.
By Alex Lantier, 24 March 2016
Ignoring questions as to how known terrorists were allowed to plan and execute an attack while Brussels was on high alert, EU officials are launching new attacks on democratic rights.
By Alex Lantier, 23 March 2016
This horrific attack targeted innocent people in no way responsible for the imperialist wars that have devastated the Middle East.
By Alex Lantier, 21 March 2016
Astonishingly, Europe’s most wanted man, on the run from police for four months, was hiding near his parents’ apartment in the heavily-watched Molenbeek district.
By Ross Mitchell, 5 February 2016
After organising a 48-hour strike that shut down the Belgian rail network January 6-7, the unions wound up three other days of planned action.
By Ross Mitchell, 27 November 2015
The trade unions kept the strike within regional limits, blocking it from spreading along the whole network of the national railway system.
By Alex Lantier, 24 November 2015
Popular frustration rose yesterday across Belgium as contradictions mounted in the official justifications for the continuing police lockdown of Brussels.
By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 23 November 2015
Heavily armed police units launched large-scale manhunts across the Brussels area, but announced late last night that they had not found suspects, weapons or explosives.
By Ross Mitchell, 27 October 2015
Belgium Post’s plan to increase productivity and enforce flexible work schedules across the board is intended to prepare the way for full scale privatisation.
By Andrea Peters, 20 June 2015
Implementing a ruling handed down by the Hague, law enforcement officials are working to seize billions of dollars of Russian assets in Europe and around the world.
By Alex Lantier, 16 December 2014
The strike brought the country to a standstill amid mass opposition in the working class to the reactionary Michel government's austerity agenda.
By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2014
A 29-year-old French citizen, Mehdi Nemmouche, was arrested by French police on suspicion of carrying out the killing at the Jewish museum in Brussels.
By Matthew MacEgan and David Walsh, 28 May 2014
A gunman fired shots at four people at a Jewish museum in Brussels on Saturday, killing three of them on the spot. Belgian officials began a nationwide manhunt on Sunday.
By Christoph Dreier, 1 March 2013
On Thursday the management of the US construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar announced that it was laying off 1,400 workers at its plant in Gosselies, Belgium.
By Dietmar Henning, 14 February 2013
In response to spontaneous walkouts by the workers, the unions intensified their cooperation with Ford.
By our reporters, 13 November 2012
The closure will throw 4,600 workers at the factory and more than 5,000 employees in related industries out of work.
By Paul Bond, 19 October 2012
The victory of the separatist New Flemish Alliance in last weekend’s regional elections has again increased pressures threatening the break-up of Belgium.
By Robert Stevens, 3 February 2012
The six-party coalition government in Belgium is meeting with growing opposition to its imposition of billions of euros in austerity cuts.
By Stefan Steinberg and Alex Lantier, 14 December 2011
Six people were dead and 123 wounded after an attacker threw three grenades and opened fire on a crowded bus station in the Belgian city of Liège.
By Paul Bond, 2 August 2011
Belgium has become the latest European country to implement a legal ban on the wearing of the Islamic burqa in public.
By Dietmar Henning, 31 January 2011
By stirring up regional chauvinism, Belgian politicians are driving the country to financial collapse and national fragmentation.
By Paul Bond, 21 August 2010
Negotiations to form the new coalition government are proceeding slowly in Belgium, amid market demands for tough austerity measures.
By Dietmar Henning, 24 April 2010
Trade union work councils at the Opel motor company agreed to the closure of the Belgian plant in Antwerp last Sunday.
By Julie Hyland, 17 February 2010
Workers on Belgium’s rail network took wildcat strike action yesterday following the crash between two rush-hour trains near the capital, Brussels, the previous day that left 18 people dead and almost 200 injured.
By our correspondents, 28 January 2010
The trade unions and works council active in automaker Opel organised a sham protest in Antwerp to cover up their own role in the closure of the local factory
For a rebellion against the nationalist policies of the trade unions
By Socialist Equality Party, 28 January 2010
The Socialist Equality Party distributed this statement, translated into Dutch, to workers at the Opel factory in Antwerp, Belgium.
GM announces closure of Opel plant in Antwerp
By Dietmar Henning, 25 January 2010
From the start of the dispute over the future of Opel, the German trade unions have sought to spread the poison of nationalism among auto workers.
By our correspondent, 25 January 2010
US automaker General Motors has closed down its Opel factory in the Belgian city of Antwerp.
Works councils and unions prepare sell-out
By our reporters, 25 September 2009
On Wednesday, 3,500 Opel employees demonstrated in front of the factory gate at the Opel plant in Antwerp, Belgium, to defend their jobs. Trade union leaders cynically exploited the rally to prepare job cuts.
By Paul Bond, 12 January 2009
Following the resignation of Yves Leterme the week before Christmas, Christian Democrat Herman Van Rompuy became the country’s third prime minister of 2008. Leterme’s government fell in a bank bailout scandal.
Foreign ministers agree to resume talks with Russia
By Stefan Steinberg, 5 December 2008
The NATO summit this week in Brussels delivered a renewed rebuff to the US over membership in the organization by Georgia and Ukraine, refusing to bow to pressure from Condoleezza Rice for a speedy acceptance of the two Eastern European countries.
The rise and fall of Fortis
By Stephan Steinberg, 1 October 2008
Stock markets across Europe tumbled on Monday following the news that leading banks across the continent were facing collapse.
By Paul Bond, 3 September 2008
Recent days have seen an escalation of protests in support of undocumented workers (sans papiers) in Belgium. The protests are being stepped up amid fears for the health of around 80 sans papiers who have now been on hunger strike for over 50 days.
By our correspondents, 6 December 2006
More than 20,000 workers marched through the centre of Brussels December 2 to protest the threatened closure of the Volkswagen factory in the suburb of Forest. Some 5,000 Volkswagen workers from the Forest plant took part in the protest, supported by relatives, workers from other industries, white-collar workers, young people and the unemployed. Numerous nationalities were represented on the march, with most of the demonstrators coming from Brussels and other surrounding cities.
German VW workers express solidarity with Belgium colleagues
By Marianne Arens, 2 December 2006
The strike by Volkswagen workers at the VW Forest factory in Brussels against the loss of 4,000 jobs and the threatened closure of the factory has now entered its third week. The termination of production of the VW Golf model at the factory in the west of Brussels means—along with the potential loss of jobs at subsidiary companies—a total of 13,000 families are threatened with losing their main source of income. A demonstration by Volkswagen workers from all over Europe is due to take place Saturday, December 2, in Brussels.
Set up defense committees independently of the works council and trade unions!
By by Editorial Board, 25 November 2006
The strike by Volkswagen workers in Brussels makes clear the urgency of organizing a joint struggle by workers at all VW locations and plants.
“It is high time to wake up and become political”
By our reporters, 25 November 2006
The Volkswagen Forest works in the west of Brussels has been occupied around the clock for the past week. Of the 5,800 employees at the factory, 4,000 are threatened with dismissal, following the decision by management to switch production of the Golf model to Germany.
By Helmut Arens, 23 November 2006
More than 5,000 workers at the Forest Volkswagen factory in Brussels have been on strike since last Friday. The workers also occupied parts of the factory at the start of the week in order to prevent finished cars from being transported out of the plant and to stop any dismantling of machines. On Wednesday morning the workers held a mass meeting at the main factory gate to decide on further action.
By Paul Bond, 23 October 2006
Last week’s municipal elections in Belgium revealed a deepening political crisis across the country. The parties of the national ruling coalition of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt fared badly ahead of next year’s federal elections.
By Paul Bond, 21 June 2006
Some 20,000 people, many wearing white armbands, joined a march against racism in Belgium’s second largest city, Antwerp, last month. The march had been called following two recent attacks in the city that left three people dead and another seriously injured.
By Paul Bond, 8 May 2006
The brutal murder of a Brussels teenager three weeks ago continues to reverberate through Belgian politics. It has prompted the largest demonstration in Belgium in the last 10 years while this week a petition demanding greater public safety, signed by 255,000 people, was handed to Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt by friends of the dead youth. A row has also broken out between the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice over public criticisms made by the minister.
A report from the GM plant in Antwerp
By Helmut Arens and Andreas Kunstmann, 18 December 2004
“We had the job of saving 100 million dollars and that’s what we did.” With these words Rudi Kenneth summarised the role of the trade unions and its factory council at the General Motors Opel plant in Antwerp, Belgium. Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site recently visited the Belgian factory.
By Paul Bond, 3 September 2004
The death toll continues to rise after an explosion on a gas pipeline in the small Belgian town of Ghislenghien a month ago. Twenty-one people have now died. Over 50 remain in hospital, with the condition of over half being described as critical.
By Paul Bond, 30 June 2004
Regional and European elections on June 13 have dealt a serious blow to Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
By Richard Tyler, 17 July 2003
The first act of the new Belgian government was to order the repeal of legislation enabling Belgian courts to hear cases of genocide, war crimes and “crimes against humanity” regardless of where they were committed and irrespective of the nationality of the victims or perpetrators.
By Paul Bond and Richard Tyler, 21 May 2003
The Liberals and Social Democrats have emerged as the strongest parties in the new federal parliament following the general election in Belgium on Sunday May 18. The biggest losers were the Greens, who look unlikely to re-enter the federal government.
By Steve James, 19 May 2001
Flemish Interior Minister Johan Sauwens has been exposed as a long standing sympathiser of the SS—the elite Nazi forces used to guard concentration camps in World War II.
By Richard Tyler, 19 October 2000
In recent regional and local elections, the xenophobic Vlaams Blok (VB) became the strongest party in Antwerp. The VB advocates the separation of the northern Flemish-speaking region of Flanders from French-speaking Wallonia, which together with the bi-lingual capital Brussels and a small German-speaking area comprise the modern Belgian state. Strongly anti-immigrant, it calls for the immediate repatriation of all so-called illegal immigrants.
By Richard Tyler, 27 September 1999
The Human Rights League has lodged official complaints against two former Belgian Interior Ministers over the methods used by police during deportations. Sémira Adamu, a 20 -year-old Nigerian asylum-seeker, was killed as a result of a violent deportation carried out by the Belgian authorities in September 1998.
By Richard Tyler, 1 September 1999
In August, asylum-seekers being kept in one of Belgium's “closed centres” held a hunger strike lasting several days. They were protesting at the conditions in which they are forced to live, and the impact this was having on their children.
Coca-Cola products hit by new contamination scandal
By Richard Tyler, 19 June 1999
The European Union is poised to take legal action against the Belgian government for its handling of the dioxin poisoning affair. EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler said the case went beyond Belgium's failure to provide a timely warning to other EU states about the potential hazard from dioxin-contaminated animal feeds and food products.
By Richard Tyler, 16 June 1999
On Sunday, a political earthquake hit Belgium when simultaneous elections were held for the regional, federal and European parliaments. The greatest shocks were felt at the federal level. Christian Democrat Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene announced his resignation from office and as party leader, ending the eight-year coalition with the Social Democrats, following both parties' disastrous showing at the polls. If the Christian Democrats go into opposition, as Dehaene hinted they might, this would end more than 40 years in office.