We don’t need EU austerity, but EU social justice!
GUE/NGL Chair Gabi Zimmer calls for European action against speculation and a reversal of "toxic" austerity policy
Responding to French President François Hollande's speech to the European Parliament this morning, GUE/NGL Chair Gabi Zimmer called for European action against speculation and a reversal of "toxic" austerity policy.
"Your election as president raised a number of hopes. One such hope was that you emphasised the connection between national debt and the debt of banks". "But because of bank bailouts, public debt in the euro zone has risen from 66% of GDP to 92% in 2012, without the daily lives of ordinary people improving in any way."
Ms Zimmer recalled that Hollande had criticized the lack of real regulation of financial markets and raised hopes of a fight for the renewal of economic and social policies in Europe, by way of a 're-orientation of the European Union'. "Many political forces are interested in this new approach and many respected economists have put forward similar arguments."
She regrets that we are still far from eliminating the causes of the crisis and that international financial markets were once again speculating - with food, raw materials, real estate and land. Gabi Zimmer also asked when the drastic reduction in public spending would stop, especially for spending on social, educational, health, environment and public services. "Every percentage of austerity means a loss of growth. Austerity and wage restraint are toxic," she warned.
On the issue of youth employment, Gabi Zimmer said it had reached "incredible heights in a few months," before calling for the Youth Guarantee scheme to be funded and implemented so that socially and legally secure employment for young people is developed. "We need an ambitious European initiative that guarantees the life and future of our youth."
French GUE/NGL MEP Patrick Le Hyaric agreed with the French President that there was great need for an EU that shows solidarity pointing to the constant increase in the numbers of poor and the need for the EU to keep up levels of food aid.
Policies of budget austerity and wage restraint are continuing to be applied under the French government, in the name of competitiveness, but these were undermining democratic rights and work in general, he said.
MEP Le Hyaric said it was high time to change the role of the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism and to create a fund for social and green development.
GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12