European meeting of struggle for our pensions #FIGHT4PENSIONS
SUNDAY 20/09/2020 11:00-15:00
@ManiFiesta, Bredene-aan-Zee

Invited guests: Catherine Perret (CGT, France), Matthias Birkwald (Die Linke, Germany), Sira Rego (Izquierda Unida, Spain), Robert Vertenueil (FGTB-ABVV, België), Stefaan Decock (ACV Puls, Belgium), Katarina Mindum (Croatia), Anne Rieger (Austria), Fabien Roussel (PCF, France), Pensionistas (Spain),Raoul Hedebouw (PTB, Belgium),...

Simultaneous translation : English – Français - Nederlands - Español - Deutsch

Presentation of the programme and the invited guests

  • Everyone is familiar with the massive and sustained strike and protest movement in France against the neoliberal pension reform of President Macron. That movement will of course get a place of honour at the European meeting Fight4pensions. With Catherine Perret, vice-general secretary of the left-wing trade union CGT and responsible for the pensions sector. And with Fabien Roussel, national secretary of the French Communist Party (PCF) and member of the National Assembly (Chamber).
  • A pension with points is in force in Germany. With dire consequences: 17% of the pensioners live below the poverty line. Matthias Birkwald is a member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and pension specialist of Die Linke. He highlights for us the fight for pensions in Germany. Interesting approach : the IG Metall trade union has worked out an alternative pension plan.
  • In Spain there is the movement of the 'pensionistas', who have been on the streets every Monday for already more than two years, in different cities. Their spokesman Cristóbal Ráez, a retired bank clerk from Seville, will explain us their struggle. Meanwhile, the new progressive government of Social Democrats and Unidas Podemos, as a first measure, increased the minimum wage and restored the indexation of pensions. Sira Rego, MEP for Izquierda Unida, will come and explain.
  • In Belgium, trade unions, civil society and the PTB-PVDA were able to stop the planned introduction of a pension on points in 2018. Stefaan Decock, secretary general of ACV Puls and ABVV chairman Robert Vertenueil will speak about the importance of the fight for pensions and how to wage it successfully. In the meantime, the PTB-PVDA is finding increasingly broad support for its citizens' law for a minimum pension of 1,500 euro net. PTB-PVDA spokesman and MP Raoul Hedebouw will enthusiastically present this campaign to the European public.
  • In 2017, the Croatian government launched a plan to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67 and to tighten the conditions for early retirement. But workers, pensioners and young people did not accept it and forced the government to retrace its steps. And this through a mass petition with which they collected in two weeks time... more than 700,000 signatures ! How do you manage to achieve something like that ? That's what Katarina Mindum, vice president of the Union of Railway Workers in Croatia (SZH), will tell us.
  • Austria spends a significant part of its gross domestic product on pensions : more than 14%. With large demonstrations and strikes in 2003, the essence of a social pension system could be secured and safeguarded. Is this again under pressure with the successive right-wing governments in Austria? Anne Rieger, board member of the Left Block of the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB), talks about this.

Also from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus, Italy, Turkey there has been an interest in coming to the Fight4Pensions meeting. In this way it will be a broad European militant meeting.