The question was simple: » What democratic legitimacy is there to make certain decisions when most of the members who decide and think are part of the multinationals and the world of finance ? It was April 15, during the press conference following the National Security Council, in the middle of the Coronavirus crisis. Shile this question did not require any particular talent to be understood, we did not really expect an answer, knowing that it was impossible for them: one cannot ensure both the common good and the returns on investment, perhaps even more so in the health field. It was thus a question of giving the proof, at a time when the audience was at its peak — which is never given to us as a free media -, that their speech is only spectacular gesticulation, a kind of com plan to hide what they are and who they really serve.
When you ask a minister with a degree in communication from the IHECS, advertising option, a special degree in financial management, Minister of Budget in the Michel government, former advisor to a business law firm, from a family close to the political and financial world(1)whose father was a founding member of the Cercle de Lorraine(2)at the heart of the power so(3)When asked what she thinks of this incestuous mixture of the public and private worlds, she is obviously not expected to do penance and immediately dismiss her colleagues for conflict of interest. There can be no answer, no acceptable motivation and no justification, and this explains why our presence is no longer desired at a government press conference. Our question of April 15 has sufficiently shaken up the lines. The reaction also speaks for itself, as the minister is surprised and taken aback, as if she had been served dessert before the entrée. You will conclude yourselves, after reading this article, if those who lead us are at the service of the common good or only represent themselves and their friends bosses and bankers.
« Conflict of interest? This concept is non-existent for someone who considers that politics serves the interests of capital. She will express it clearly, when during my questioning on April 15, Sophie Wilmès will interrupt me: » Sir, I do not intend to interrupt you (sic)but if you intend to give the CVs of all the people who work and are entitled to a little privacy, I encourage you to finish your question and I will answer it « . A little privacy, therefore, means that it considers that the fact of knowing what may be the possible personal motivations of those who lead us to make political decisions, is part of the domain of private life: fantastic reversal of the concept of general interest.
1. Media and politics
In this dramatization of reality, » the major media players in the Belgian landscape(4) These » safeguards » protect politicians from any questions that could break their representation game. So there was only one attempt on our part on April 15, and Sophie Wilmès’ feverish search to prevent me from trying a second shot, that is, asking a second question(5)This is a perfect example of the process of matching political and media thinking within a well-defined framework, where the aim is to ensure that the listener and viewer will not move — he should not feel his chains. These tacit media-political agreements will also be evoked: the refusal of Minister-President Jeholet to answer my question on the evening of April 24(6)The silence of the press service of Minister Wilmès in the face of our many emails and phone calls, the silence of the minister in the face of letters sent by citizens inviting her to explain her refusal of our presence at the press conference. However, as one of our readers will say: » She announces on her site « to be with the listening »… ». Announcement effects precisely… communication processes, where we notice that the more we say we are listening, the less we hear.
They will not let go of anything(7), and especially not what is the basis of their power: that we remain on our knees. The zeal of the media-political caste to present themselves as patent officials of the certification of the authenticity of information, thus to decree what is and is not fake news, is part of this game. We could perhaps laugh about it if the situation were not so serious, when we know that those who make themselves the paragons of virtue and stamped information of controlled origin are the same ones who in their duck censor at all costs(8)They forget to tell us about the poison that they distill daily in our minds, and bite when we try to give people another informative food. Dorian de Meeûs, « the inarticulate » editor of La Libre, gets out his fangs and gets offended when we don’t ask » the right questions « ? He does not mention the episode where his editors considered that « we cannot accept, especially in the letters to the editor where we talk about inequalities, someone who says he is disgusted to see the gap between the incomes of the bosses and those of the workers »(9)? » Wrong question « , direction trash can. It is indeed probably not very appropriate to quote the disgust of citizens in front of inequalities when the family that owns the newspaper in which we write, the Le Hodey, has a fortune of 41.071.000€ and is 431st Belgian fortune(10). Reality and » good questions » do not always mix, and those who have the benefit of telling us what is important or not, will also have the benefit of presenting themselves as hunters of fake news(11)This will ensure that they will not be the ones to make it happen. As Guy Debord said about the concept of disinformation: « It is always highly employed by a power, or corollary by people who hold a fragment of economic or political authority, to maintain what is established; and always by attributing to this employment a counter-offensive function « (12).
Some would probably dream of a little more political authoritarianism to punish me for my sins, and in the face of my journalistic attitude « unworthy of a press card », that it be taken away from me more easily, so that no one comes to disturb their circus anymore.
The media counter-offensive
Others engaged in convoluted rhetoric in an attempt to justify that the April 15 question was good, but irrelevant, and therefore bad, because it was asked in the wrong place(13). A journalist finally came to consider in an unintelligible article that I was Wilmes’ » straw man « , allowing him to » refute a thesis that is not supported by anyone « (14). Straw man, definition : » Ready name. Political leader without real power, because manipulated in the shadow by others « . The person who saw me as indirectly working for the Prime Minister wrote for Le Vif l’Express, a « brand » of Groupe Roularta, owned by the De Nolf-Claeys family. The former, which manages the De Nolf group, owns, together with the latter: Cennini Holding(15), 50% of Belgian Business Television, which in turn owns RMG (Roularta Media Group, 100%) and Mediafin (50%). Mediafin, which owns 50% of the Rossel group, which publishes the daily newspaper Le Soir. Roularta also has shares in: Koinon (holding company), West Investement Holding S.A. (Luxembourg-based limited company), Bestinver gestion (investment company, Spain). The Roularta group is chaired by Xavier Bouckaert, member of the Cercle de Lorraine.
Its proximity to investment funds and other money-making machines is a clear indication that the editors of Le Vif cannot stick their noses into everything. Of course, there will always be some diehards who will tell us that « just because a newspaper belongs to a group owned by a very rich family does not mean that it cannot say what it wants. This is a proof of naivety or bad faith, as we know that these families are not there to ensure the common good and equity, being the first to benefit from the structural misery of our societies: the more poor there are, the richer they are.
More paradoxical is the fact that some of these media seem to be the quickest to titillate the authorities. But this is only appearance: harmless itching powder, they will not allow the reader to draw conclusions in terms of the structural functioning of our societies, machines to produce the « scandals » which will be the goodwill of this type of media. The rest: advertising (a lot), wind, emptiness and praise for politicians. Example: in Le Vif of April 23, 2020, a dossier devoted to Sophie Wilmès, entitled » Le syndrome de la première de classe « , whose introduction alone reveals in which court we are playing: » Ambitious? No one runs a country without being one. But Sophie Wilmès is first and foremost a first in class. She is obsessed with detail and perfection, and works her teams to exhaustion. A lively woman, too, who is happy to be able to drink wine again white on the beach of Knokke « … We are served, thank you, the thought has made a big step forward in the understanding of the world. From there, I wanted to read the rest… Besides that, the newspaper mentioned » the journalist agitator of the Kairos media « (16). Double standards.
Multiple media, one thought
Others will shamelessly speak, in the middle of a live broadcast, of a » conspiracy question « , like RTL-TVI(17).
Being the guardians of power, their anti-complotistic posture allows them to evade the real dealings of a mafia state of which they are the ardent defenders. The RTBF or the newspaper Le Soir, will have had the reaction of not having any. The first, receiving the minister just after the press conference, when habits had been shaken by a question which, in a decent world, should have remained in the realm of the banal, will not say a word about it. The others will not write a line about the » politically biased question « . These types of responses to the April 15 « event » are revealed in light of the general functioning of these different media: different manifestations of an identical mode of media production. The differences here are more details that obscure the common background that animates them, namely the social function they perform as a whole: to manufacture consent, pretending that it is the citizens who decide and that their opinion is taken into account(18).
Since the press conference of April 15 and our question that generated « discomfort », the media have mainly focused on details, comments without depth on where we should be able to speak and others where we do not ask questions, accusing us of conspiracy and sweeping with one hand the meaning of the question, that of conflicts of interest. All this to avoid talking about the substance. The dogs bark, the caravan passes…
2. Wilmès and his friends
Faced with this media army in charge of controlling reality, when we manage to ask important questions for the collective, we get the answer of Sophie Wilmès on April 15: « Vou have just introduced in this press room the politically biased question, which is not usually the habit of journalists ». Everything is said. So nothing will be said, since we must not know what must not be known. The question of conflict of interest was, however, of great interest.
The group of experts in charge of preparing the deconfinement
Among the members of the GEES, the Group of Experts in charge of theExit Strategy, the CV of most of them gives the general color and direction of this body in charge of taking national decisions that will have a decisive effect on the lives of 11 million Belgians. After Covid-19, nothing new, or the same thing worse, as Sophie Wilmès will tell us in Parliament on May 7: » To pretend that the law of supply and demand doesn’t exist (on masks) is to lie to the public. » This is mere rhetoric, because to lie to him would be to make him believe that the State is only there to ensure the functioning of the market, where it could have given priority to the collective interest. Exit the latter, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will buy masks from two companies, one of which, Avrox, is a limited company based in Luxembourg, of which we know little or nothing.
Appointed as head of the group of experts who are to prepare the deconfinement, she was trained at the University of Leuven, like most of her colleagues who advise politicians. She is head of the department of general internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine in Antwerp. The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation(19). On May 2, in Le soir, Erika Vlieghe anticipates: » We are already working on a reconfinement plan « (20); on May 4 in La DH: » Erika Vlieghe warns Belgians: « We must not be too enthusiastic »(21). Working for an organization partly funded by a private foundation that promotes vaccination for obvious financial gain, Erika Vlieghe’s certainties and recommendations sound odd when she says » our lives will be different until a vaccine is found « .(22)
Appointed as the inter-federal spokesperson for the Covid-19 crisis, he is, together with Marc Van Ranst, a physician and head of the diagnostic laboratory at the Infectious Diseases Unit of the UZ Leuven Hospital. The UZ Leuven hospital benefits from large donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The last known, $713,372 to » filter the Reframe library against Covid-19 « (23). The team, led by Marc Van Ranst and Johan Neyts, works hand in hand with the Private Foundation: » On behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Professor Neyts’ team will also test 15,000 active ingredients in existing and developing drugs for their effectiveness against SARS-CoV‑2. CD3 (Center for Drug, Design & Development) and Johnson & Johnson also make thousands of these components available to the laboratory « (24).
Emmanuel André is at the origin of a group, Bacteriology Axis(25), which has close links with the WHO and is at the origin of the formation of a start-up called Savics. He is presented on the website as a « consultant ». The director and co-founder of Savics, who is also a shareholder, is Xavier Morelle. Interesting that this SPRL domiciled in Uccle, explains on its website that it owns « 3 tools that can help in the fight against the Covid-19 virus. Our applications have been used in many countries for several years for the surveillance and management of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV, Ebola and now we have adapted our technology to also address the current situation of Covid-19. We can help countries manage the challenges of Covid-19 surveillance and monitoring in these demanding times, so that health care workers, laboratories and specialists can focus on where they are needed most, treating patients « .
In short, Emmanuel André is an advisor to a private company, Savics, founded by his research group associated with the University of Leuven, Bacteriology Axis, which offers tools to » manage the challenges of monitoring and tracking Covid-19 « … A little privacy.
She holds a law degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a Master’s degree in European law from the Universität des Saarlandes, is a member of the Brussels Bar, and has practiced European competition law in leading international law firms such as Stibbe and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Inge Bernaerts worked for the European Commission in the Directorate General for Competition, in the field of telecommunications and broadcasting, and later as assistant to the Director General for Competition. She joined the Directorate General for Energy in July 2010 as Head of Unit Internal Market II: Wholesale Markets, Electricity and Gas, and was in charge of the implementation of the EU internal energy market legislation(26). Competition, market, competitiveness. Amen.
Governor of the National Bank of Belgium, where Sophie Wilmès’ father, Philippe Wilmès, was also regent, Pierre Wunsch, who is close to the MR, was director of the strategic unit of the cabinet of Minister of Finance Didier Reynders (from 2008 to 2011). Well integrated in the various national and international financial structures (ECB, IMF, BIS…), he has held positions at Electrabel, Tractebel, the Federal Planning Bureau, and has been a director at Fluxys, on the board of directors of KBC, and teaches at UCL.
Like Pierre Wunsch, he also comes from the National Bank of Belgium, where he held the position of Executive Director. He specializes in the fields of contract theory, organizational economics, innovation, banking and finance. He is an executive member of I3H, an organization that works in the health field » to effectively contribute to the development of innovative technologies and strategies. »
On the Minister’s website, he is presented as » director and chairman of companies such as Electrabel, Recticel and Golazo « , forgetting to mention that he is also chairman of the board of Corealis and Hospital Logistics, advisor to Lazard Benelux and CVC. Some interests in finance and health… Johnny Thijs was CEO of Bpost between 2002 and 2014.
Next to these « business » men and women, Gilbert Marius will have to be careful. When a journalist asks him « Aren ‘t you afraid that by frequenting the GEES, this group of experts, some of whom are closer to the stock market than to the hospital, you will finally fall victim to a form of Stockholm syndrome ? » I think the question is a bit biased! However, in the face of Johnny, Mathias or Pierre — the economic power — it is difficult to see the common good winning the game.
Marc Van Ranst, GSK, etc.
At the time, Professor Marc Van Ranst, President of the Interministerial Commissariat « Influenza », who published a report in favor of the vaccination of infants against rotavirus gastroenteritis, will recognize a conflict of interest: he was receiving a salary from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Shortly thereafter, » he co-authored, with Patrick Goubau, virologist at the UCL and member of the « Influenza » Scientific Committee, an article co-financed by GSK. In the committee, four other members have links with the private sector: research center grants, paid conferences and consultancy, scholarships… GSK and the vaccine lobbies are everywhere « (27). At the time, one-third of the scientists who recommended that the government purchase the H1N1 vaccine had ties to GSK, the multinational pharmaceutical company that benefited from the government contract. The latter will develop 12.6 million doses, for a market of €110 million, on the advice of expert groups.
At the formation of the Strategic Deconfinement Visioning Working Group, or SDVWG, Marc Van Ranst is again there among the 9 elected members. Forget his former loves, he would now only work for the public good.
GSK is everywhere. In February 2020, the PTB will ask for the resignation of Pascal Lizin, both President of the Société fédérale de participations et d’investissement (SFPI) and director at GSK as the main lobbyist. SFPI, which took this name when the Société fédérale d’investissement (SFI), in which Philippe Wilmès was a director, absorbed the Société fédérale de participations (SFP). What does the FHIC, a public organization, do? Mainly two things: it is both an investment company and a public holding company. Of particular interest: the SFPI is expanding its » strategic priorities » in 2012. Among the » investment opportunities that SFPI is looking for « : » Vesalius Biocapital I (investment fund — medical innovations) « , where Philippe de Backer worked.
Strange coincidence, isn’t it? Pascal Lizin is still the director of the SFPI(28). Understand that it is a senior GSK lobbyist who heads a public structure in charge of deciding the direction of investments made with taxpayers’ money, and this in the middle of the Coronavirus crisis and with a government endowed with special powers. Pascal Lizin had already indicated where his interests lay when he supported the patent income tax deduction law, which will allow GSK to pay only 0.1% tax.
De Backer and the private sector
There is a link between Philippe de Backer, whom Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès will appoint as head of the task force in charge of research into materials needed to fight Corona(29), and the SFPI. He worked at Vesalius Bio Capital(30) which defines itself as a company that invests » in attractive, development-stage companies in drug, medical device and diagnostic development and in eHealth and mental health, primarily in Europe. Our portfolio companies address unmet medical and commercial needs and operate on the basis of strong intellectual property protection « . Prior to joining the European Parliament, Philippe De Backer worked as a technology transfer manager and business analyst in various venture capital companies specializing in life sciences(31), including the Centre de Recherche Public de la Santé (CRP-Santé). CRP-Health’s activities include securing intellectual property rights, including patents and copyrights, commercializing intellectual property rights and negotiating contracts with pharmaceutical companies. It is therefore not surprising that Patrick Florent, director of GSK Vaccines in Belgium, enthusiastically shares the press articles about the Belgian government’s agreements with GSK, and the zeal that Philippe De Backer has put into making this happen.
3. Same « mistakes », or same strategy
In this situation, it is not clear what safeguards would allow us to avoid the « mistakes » of 2009, when the Belgian State signed a secret agreement with GSK, on the recommendation of the Scientific Committee on Influenza (SCI), of which Mark Van Ranst was president. At the time, the declaration of conflicts of interest was refused on the grounds of « respect for privacy ». This is reminiscent of what Minister Wilmès said at the April 15 press conference: » I remind you that people are free to work, to change careers and to commit themselves to the common good, regardless of what they have done before. I can guarantee you that it is not the company you work for that makes you the man or woman you are. In any case, this is the fundamental freedom that we still believe in in our country, fortunately « .
Vesalius Biocapital Arkiv (VBA), closely related to De Backer, is affiliated with ING, the Flemish Region and Parthoens. Its shareholders are Vesalius Biocapital I SA Sicar (50.09%, Luxembourg), Arkimedes-Fonds (49.9%) and Vesalius Biocapital Partners SARL (0.01%).(32) VBA has stakes in Biotechnological Enzymatic Catalyse, Ncardia (in which the Belgian State and the Province of Liège are shareholders) and in Promethera Biosciences in which the Walloon Region and the Walloon Brabant investment and financing company (SOWALFIN) are shareholders; Sowalfin, itself affiliated with the Ackermans & Van Haaren group (AVH). For your information, Denis Pierrard, the head of IPM, will leave the group that publishes the daily newspaper at one time La Libre Belgiqueto join Ackermans and Van Haaren (AvH), which defines itself as a creator of » shareholder value by investing over the long term in a limited number of strategic participations with international growth potential « . Luc Bertrand, a founding member of the Cercle de Lorraine, is President of AvH and his daughter, Alexia Bertrand, is one of the directors. She is also the former chief of staff of Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders. At the time, conflicts of interest were denounced.
The Parthoens group is a troubled structure in which Alain Pathoens is a shareholder. This former Nestlé, Monsanto/Searle, PWC, is co-founder of Newton Biocapital(33), a Belgian venture capital company. The team of this company, which invests in therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device, clinical nutrition and digital biotechnology companies, includes « alumni » from Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Monsanto, Pfizer, ATB Therapeutics, Bioxodes, Synergia Medical, investment funds and venture capital (KBCPE, Capricorn Venture Partners, QBIC Venture Partners). Alain Parthoens also works at Vesalius Bio Capital, but was also an investment manager at ING in Brussels, also affiliated with Vesalius.
As we have seen, the Belgian public company SFPI, via Pascal Lizin, had included Vesalius in its strategic investments. He also put his marbles in Newton Biocapital, which » already has commitments for tens of millions of euros in shares from Belfius Insurance, the Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (SFPI, Belgium) and Sambrinvest (the Walloon participation company). » (34) If this is not a misappropriation of public money, or how a GSK lobbyist favors the private sector via a public structure, the SFPI, which he directs.
The most extraordinary thing is that Vesalius Biocapitale Arkiv is located at 67 rue Ducale, opposite the chancellery of the Prime Minister and the bunker where we have been prevented from entering to ask our questions since April 24.
» Thank you, Ms. Wilmes « , live the special powers!
» The federal government and the Belgian pharmaceutical industry have decided to intensify their efforts in the fight against Covid-19 « (35). It was on March 26. They will not have lingered. In the plenary session of Parliament on the same day, the Prime Minister gave the usual speech, » with the human being at the center of our concerns « . While she is talking about humans, she is negotiating with the pharmaceutical industry: the coronavirus promises big money, something different than H1N1. It’s not every day that a planetary vaccine prospect comes along.
On the Prime Minister’s website, the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies thank the federal government for, among other things, agreeing to reduce to 4 days the time required before launching clinical trials on vaccines and new drugs(36). This decision was made « fromn the framework of the Biopharma R&D platform: « Specifically, it will be a question of accelerating the procedures to launch clinical trials in our country for new vaccines and treatments against Covid-19 and to increase the screening capacity by allowing the tests of patients with the virus to take place in the laboratories of pharmaceutical companies.
» We welcome the decision of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) to authorize the launch of clinical trials very quickly, in only 4 days (!). This is essential for pharmaceutical companies « . The speaker, Catherine Rutten, is since 2013, CEO of pharma.be, » the association of innovative biopharmaceutical companies in Belgium « . She was a member of the Board of the Belgian Institute of Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) until 2013, an organization that, in the midst of the coronavirus, declared, » regarding the introduction of the new 5G technology, BIPT proposes, pending a political agreement between the federal government and the federated entities, to grant provisional rights of use « (37). Interesting when you consider that she joined the Proximus Board of Directors in 2013, joining Stefaan De Clerck and Karel De Gucht(38). Member of Women on board, sponsored by Proximus, Axa, Belfius, Delhaize, BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Banque de Luxembourg, Alstom…, an association which » promotes the access of women to leadership roles in Belgian companies (public and private) « In other words, a platform for exchanging goodwill, which masks deep social inequality under the cloak of an illusory gender equality. Gone is the cleaning lady.
Karel Van De Sompel, Managing Director of Pfizer Belgium and President of pharma.be: » Currently, Pfizer is fully invested in finding an antiviral and a vaccine for Covid-19. We hope to achieve results again this year. We are doing our utmost to ensure that Belgian patients can benefit from it as soon as possible « . Karel Van De Sompel is Chairman of the Board of Pharma.be(39), succeeding Sonja Willems (see below), Managing Director of Janssen Belgium and the Netherlands; at the time of his appointment, together with his fellow Vice-Chairman, they declared: » Together with the Board of Directors, we will work tirelessly to strengthen the position of the industry with the aim of making the innovative healthcare sector a strategic pillar of the Belgian economy. » Following the induction, Catherine Rutten will thank the newcomers. A small circle of friends.
Sonja Willems, Managing Director of Janssen Belgium and the Netherlands: » Thanks to a unique and extensive cooperation between the federal authorities, the administrations and our staff, we are preparing — from scratch — a fully automated and operational high-tech molecular biology laboratory; and this in only 10 days. This laboratory will significantly increase our capacity to detect the Coronavirus in Belgium. This is unprecedented in the history of Janssen « Never before seen ». Coronavirus is good for Janssen. She is the predecessor of Karel Van De Sompel as Chairman of the Board of Pharma.be and a member of Women on Boards.
Patrick Florent, Managing Director of GSK Vaccines, is no less enthusiastic on the Minister’s website: » In recent weeks, GSK has been working extensively with federal authorities to significantly increase Covid-19 testing capacity. We were pleasantly surprised by the way the federal government is handling this situation. Increasing the number of screenings from 2,500 to 10,000 per day would bring us to the same level as Germany per capitaThis is generally considered to be the best student in the class. In addition, GSK continues to explore the possibility of further expanding screening capacity if necessary « .
Philippe De Backer, Minister and former Vesalius Biocapital employee, is very pleased with this: » It is a huge advantage for us in Belgium to have GSK as a global healthcare leader based here. We are extremely grateful for this free (sic) and crucial help that will help us, all together, to face the pandemic. « (40) Patrick Florent, trained at the Catholic University of Louvain, former President of European Vaccine Manufacturer, currently board member of Qualivax and Japan Vaccine Company, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tianyuan… shares on Linkedin the articles and statements of Philippe De Backer or Sophie Wilmès.
Baron Jean Stéphenne, well established in academic and political circles, like his other acolytes, former vice-president and general manager of the pharmaceutical multinational GSK, but also chairman of the board of Nanocyl, spin off of the universities of Liege and Namur, sent on April 9 an e‑mail entitled » Support research at UCLouvain « . He had the indecency to ask citizens to support UCL financially: » In order to increase the impact of these projects, UCLouvain needs your help. Thank you for supporting the research conducted by the researchers at our university! « . Or how to ask for money from the citizen in order to make even more.
Didier Malherbe, Chief Executive Officer of UCB Belgium said: » Thanks to the excellent collaboration between companies and authorities, the initiative of its employees and its scientific partnership strength, UCB is multiplying initiatives to fight against the coronavirus and its consequences « . The collaboration is indeed excellent, especially when one knows that Bart Vermeulen, formerly of UCB, owned by the three wealthy Boël-Janssen-Solvay families, works in Maggie De Block’s cabinet as head of medicines policy. Bart Vermeulen, who was also chief economist at Pharma.be, economist at the Belgian Competition Authority is, like most, a graduate of the Catholic University of Leuven.
The worm is in the fruit
It never seems to stop… While the World Health Organization has been quoted incessantly in recent weeks, it was forgotten to mention that it is infested with lobbyists whose funding comes mainly from private donors, of which Bill Gates and the pharmaceutical industry are the main ones. In the 1980s, the WHO, under pressure from industry, declared glyphosate » safe « . In 1994, the organization agreed to a 200-fold increase in the amount of chemical residues allowed in genetically modified soybeans, which made Monsanto a huge moneymaker.
During the H1N1 flu episode, pharmaceutical companies earned millions of euros(41). At home, in the middle of Covid-19, the Belgian Professional Union of Physicians took offense at the fact that the Belgian government decided » that SARS-CoV‑2 tests would be performed not by accredited clinical laboratories, but by pharmaceutical industry laboratories, under the pretext of expanding capacity (…) These accredited laboratories are nowadays dismissed without notice by industrial firms and collaborators who do not meet the requirements to perform these tests « (42). Is this surprising given the composition of the political teams that are supposed to work for us?
Bill Gates declared 2010 the decade of vaccines, and in 2011 he said before the National Health Assembly: » Donor countries need to increase their investments in vaccines and immunization, even if they are facing budgetary crises. (…) You, the 193 Member States, must make vaccines the focal point of your health system. « (43) At the expense of what? Discovering that a plant, artemisia, had better effects against malaria than expensive industrial drugs, a French doctor-researcher who did his thesis on artemisia, » recounts the reaction of his superiors when the results of his work were announced: noting that the herbal teas had a better result than the usual drugs, the jury explained to the PhD student that the pharmaceutical companies were likely to cut off their financial support to the researchers « (44). The researcher was thanked.
On March 30, 2020, there is an article on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation page that announces that » The Therapeutics Accelerator, an initiative developed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to accelerate the response to the Covid-19 epidemic by identifying, evaluating, developing, and expanding treatments « provides $20 million in initial grants to fund clinical trials. The money will officially go to three institutions — the University of Washington, Oxford University and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology — » to fund clinical trials to identify highly potent immunotherapies for the Covid-19 pandemic. » (45). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, located in Seattle, is led by CEO Mark Suzman and Co-Chair William H. Gates Sr. under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and billionaire Warren Buffett. With Covid-19, the Foundation explicitly asks » a collaborative funding effort by the private sector, philanthropic organizations and governments « The private sector will not be able to do anything without the states.
In April 2020, Le Vif/L’express joined forces with UCLouvain to inform us. The first one, owned by the Roularta group, with Xavier Bouckaert at its head, a notary law graduate from… UCL, a member of the Cercle de Lorraine, thus linked up with the university, which is a regular beneficiary of donations from the WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the latter having paid $713,372 to UCL in March 2020, and having commissioned a major study on the Coronavirus.(46) While » the billionaire philanthropist’s Foundation intends to accelerate the massive marketing of vaccines against the coronavirus « (47), we wonder what editorial choices will be made by those who link up with financiers to inform us…
No more hope. Act
The politicians, the same ones who created in Belgium a « strategic committee » composed only of employers, supposedly « for the benefit of all ». prepare our country for the next decade « , by realizing » a series of urgent investments over the next few years ». at a National Pact for Strategic Investments, Will they respond to the challenges we face, demanding social justice and a necessary exit from a deadly productivist system, on which the future of humanity depends? Will the mainstream media, what the minister’s spokesperson calls » the big media players in the Belgian landscape « , owned by the biggest fortunes, have an interest in informing people in the direction of the common good or in the direction of the shareholders? In view of the above, we can answer with certainty that it is not. The political authorities will avoid at all costs that the truth be revealed and will hide their censures under the ornaments of specious « democratic rules », such as that of the pools(48). It is therefore necessary to call those who denounce political collusion with the private sector as conspirators, rather than providing the information that would allow us to act and to regain control of our collective destiny.(49)
So it never seems to stop. Unless we decide otherwise…
- Elle était d’ailleurs plus que présente, donc en première ligne, lors de l’inauguration du Pacte National pour les investissements stratégiques, où l’on retrouvait tout le gratin politique et financier de Belgique. Voir https://www.npsi-pnis.be/fr# et la petite vidéo de présentation en première page.
- Courrier du porte-parole de la ministre, Steve Detry, le 5 mai 2020.
- Voir https://youtu.be/xt8MAjqI5Aw.
- Voir https://youtu.be/M1B0WbzCHb0
- Voir ce cas d’école extraordinaire : https://www.kairospresse.be
- Voir « Nous sommes pris dans le spectacle », https://www.kairospresse.be/.
- « “À chacun son homme de paille »: voici les trucs de com et astuces oratoires de nos politiques », Le Vif du 7 mai.
- « Le Cennini Holding regroupe les activités de la famille Leo Claeys, un acteur de la vie entrepreneuriale flamande depuis plus de 100 ans puisque ses origines remontent à 1906. Aujourd’hui, c’est la quatrième génération qui a pris la relève ; elle est active dans des secteurs très divers (production, tourisme, financement mezzanine, développement de projets, TIC, e‑commerce,…) ». Voir https://www.cennini.be/?lang=h
- ttps://www.levif.be/. Dans l’édition du week-end du 1er et 2 août, La Libre prend le relais du Vif et récidive, avec une « interview » de 4 pages de Sophie Wilmès, discussion avec un suppôt médiatique du pouvoir, Francis Van De Woestyne. Dans la même édition, Patrick De Backer bénéficie de 2 pages pour persuader le lecteur de sa pure magnanimité.
- https://www.kairospresse.be/ et https://www.kairospresse.be/
- « La pétition « Pas de 5G », lancée fin mars 2020 (à la suite de l’annonce de Proximus), a été censurée par change.org après plus de 100.000 signatures. Ce n’est pas la première fois que cela arrive, tout comme avec la plateforme avaaz.org et d’autres sans doute. Ces plateformes sont des entreprises commerciales aux objectifs non avoués, à éviter absolument. Par exemple, un des fondateurs d’Avaaz est Ricken Patel qui n’a rien d’un militant désintéressé : il « conseille » les fondations Rockefeller et Bill Gates, etc. et mène aussi des activités dans les administrations de la classe dirigeante comme l’ONU et le Département d’État étasunien. Expert en manipulation des foules et en désinformation, il a fait d’Avaaz une entreprise commerciale juteuse et une pompe à fric extrêmement efficace. Pour Avaaz, Ricken Patel a touché un salaire près de 200 000 $ par an, sans compter les plantureux honoraires de consultance qui font que les revenus de ce « progressiste » rivalisent avec ceux des PDG des multinationales (ces honoraires échappent à l’impôt aux État-Unis et donc ne sont pas connus avec exactitude). » https://stop5g.be/fr/index.htm
- https://uclouvain.be/en/ et http://savics.org/team/
- https://www.vesaliusbiocapital‑3.com/. Déjà, comme ministre de l’Agenda numérique, des Télécommunications et de la Poste, Philippe De Backer avait comme directeur pour la cellule stratégique Agenda numérique, Télécoms et Post, Luc Windmolders. Ancien directeur du service juridique chez l’opérateur Base, il a également travaillé pour l’opérateur de télécommunications néerlandais KPN et a siégé au Conseil d’administration de l’association européenne de l’industrie des télécoms ECTA. Pas étonnant que lorsque le collectif Stop5G.be l’interpellera au sujet de ses inquiétudes par rapport à la 5G et demandera une rencontre, il nous répondra : « Nous n’allons pas arrêter la 5G. Nous poursuivons une politique qui veut stimuler au maximum le développement de la 5G. Si vous souhaitez une réunion sur les effets — à mon avis inexistants — des rayonnements, vous devez vous adresser à l’autorité compétente. Le gouvernement fédéral n’a aucune autorité sur les normes de rayonnement ».
- Voir le documentaire d’Arte : « L’OMS dans les griffes de Lobbyistes ». https://www.youtube.com/watch?
- Cité dans « L’art de la fausse générosité, la Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates », Lionel Astruc, Actes Sud, 2019., p.78.
- Ibid. p. 80.
- https://www.gatesfoundation.; La Fondation finance des milliers d’organisations, même des médias, comme Le Monde, https://www.gatesfoundation. et https://fr.businessam.be/bill-
- « Les chiens attaquent. Épisode 4 : Les “ pools ”, piscines où se dissimule et se noie une presse au service du pouvoir », voir www.kairospresse.be