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A lot of tax money goes into researching covid vaccines, but the profits are only cashed in by the pharma industry. For the sake of profit, pharmaceutical companies keep their patents under wraps, which prevents the production of enough vaccine. In response to this, international health experts are demanding: In times of crisis, states must not allow themselves to be mucked around by corporations. The pharma industry needs to make its patents public. This would…

Spain will become the first country in the world to launch a pilot 4-day workweek at nation-state level, The Guardian reports. The government of Socialist Pedro Sánchez has accepted a proposal from the leftist Más País (meaning “More Land”) party. Preparatory talks will conclude in the following weeks. DETAILS UNDER NEGOTIATION The details of the pilot project are still about to be negotiated. But if Más País has its way, the pilot project will last…

In 1906, Iran was one of the first states in the Middle East to officially to become a democracy. However, in order to secure cheap oil from the country, the US and Britain overthrew progressive Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 and turned Iran into a “pro-Western” dictatorship. In doing so, they also destroyed a great opportunity for Iran to become a model for a democratic, peaceful Middle East. Since then, the US and Iran…

Denmark has been led by Social Democrats since 2019. In 2020, the Danish government has been able to pay their citizens a corona aid of 1570$ each and priorized homless people during the vaccination process. Prime Minister Frederiksen and her party enjoy great popularity among the Danes. What is their key to success? The Danish approach towards progressive Social Policies  When talking about Denmark, one is obliged  to discuss the term ´welfare state´, as this…

What may seem impossible to employees is common practice for multinationals: they shift their profits around the world until they no longer have to pay taxes on them. A global minimum tax on corporate profits could put an end to tax evasion. The chances of this happening are better than ever. This sounds like a fairy tale: The whole world is supposed to agree on a global tax. And it is powerful corporations such as…

Chile votes overwhelmingly in favor of a change of political course in parliamentary elections. Most of the votes went to left-wing and independent forces, giving them a surprisingly clear-cut victory. Centrist parties were voted out alongside the conservatives. Last Sunday’s elections are considered Chile’s most important vote since the country’s return to democracy 30 years ago. They  determine who will draft Chile’s new constitution. A new constitution was the central demand of weeks of protests…

French economist Thomas Piketty calls for all citizens to receive 120,000 euros for their 25th birthday. This “start-up money” would open up many opportunities for young people, such as buying a home or starting their own business – and people would no longer have to take jobs with miserable working conditions. The measure is intended to reduce growing inequality and would be financed from wealth taxes, the economist said. Wealth is unequally distributed around the…

A four-day week is to be trialled in Scotland – with no loss of pay for workers. A report published in early September makes suggestions on how shorter working hours could be implemented for Scots, drawing on experiences in Iceland and New Zealand.   FOLLOWING THE ICELANDIC EXAMPLE In Scotland, labour shortages in some sectors lead to workers being able to demand improvements. The GMB union has announced that the labour shortage is a good…

Germany’s meat industry pursued a very successful wage dumping strategy. An almost “mafia-like” system of labour procurement was based on cheap labour from Eastern Europe. Contract workers, temporary workers, migrant workers were placed for profit into the meat industry. The corporations and the “labour brokers” earned fortunes through wage dumping at the expense of the working men and women. Massive Covid-19 outbreaks in Germany’s meat factories The wage dumping scandal blew up due to massive…

The world’s largest nationwide attempt to reduce working hours has made international headlines – that’s how positive the results in Iceland were. The study showed: Reducing working hours while maintaining full pay makes workers happier, healthier and more productive – and pays off economically. Kontrast has spoken to one of the co-authors of the investigation report, which has been widely talked about. “I was surprised and impressed by how well it went,” says Guðmundur D.…

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