Politics

PVDA chairman Peter Mertens: “The PS is prepared to do a lot to maintain its power”

The whip party, that remains PVDA. Chairman Peter Mertens sees himself as the leader of a “left authentic block” in opposition, which “has to push where it hurts”, against this Vivaldi squad. Head of Jut? Especially the PS:

  • “The PS is really a power party. As the CVP has been the state party in Flanders for a long time, the PS is the state party in Wallonia until today. Without a membership card, not much is arranged there. ”
  • “The fact that the PS has sought agreements with the N-VA, we are not so surprised. The PS is prepared to do much to maintain its power and has always done so in history. ”

2020 was a special year. If you have to give it a score between zero and ten yourself?

“I think there are two parameters. There is a parameter of the loneliness, the people who have lost their jobs, the misery actually. That is two out of ten, which is not very promising. Bankruptcies. ”

But then, as Camus puts it, he wrote a book about the plague. In every plague you see the other side of the human being. And in the field of resilience, solidarity, mutual aid, especially during the first wave, you also saw something very creative happening and something beautiful. And that is seven, eight out of ten. ”

“So it will be in between, depending on the parameter.”

Do you have a highlight for yourself in that year?

“No, I have been through something … My father-in-law died at the very beginning of the corona crisis.”

“On March 13, when the lockdown took effect on Friday. It was the last time I saw him and I didn’t even realize it. Because I went to the hospital and when I came out, the hospital was banned. I never saw him again after that. ”

He died of corona?

“No no. Cancer. He smoked himself to death. ”

“But only his children were allowed to be at the trial in the hospital from March 13th. So I didn’t know it was the last moments with him. ”

“There were only fifteen of us at the funeral. That was very surprising. That was outside, in a cemetery under a weeping willow. Very nice, but only with fifteen. ”

“And I was driving back home from that funeral in the car and then I heard Prime Minister Wilmès say on the radio:” We have to be strict. We have to follow the standards and there are only 15 of us for a funeral. “But at the same time I also heard that, for example, a factory for exhaust pipes kept running with 150 people inside.”

“Then I thought: something is wrong somewhere. A funeral for a loved one outside with fifteen people, and exhaust pipes with 150 people in a production hall? Those proportions are not correct. And then I decided to write a book about it: They have forgotten us. ”

Read and watch the full interview at Newsweek.

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