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Banking union package won’t shield citizens from unruly financial sector

In the banking union debate in the European Parliament this morning, GUE/NGL MEPs argued that the package doesn't solve the key problems that lead to citizens being forced to fork out for failed banks.

“When the financial crisis erupted, European and world leaders came out with multiple statements denying the deregulation of financial markets that caused it,” said Portuguese MEP Marisa Matias. “All made commitments that severe measures would be taken to ensure that a crisis of this size could not happen again. 26% of European GDP was used to save the banking system. Yet six years later, any reforms have been implemented at a snail's pace and have fallen far short of what was promised.”

“The banking union package is a classic example of such a broken promise. It proposes the creation of a European 'super central bank', which will set monetary policy and act as supervisor. The result is that the ECB is now the most powerful non-democratic institution in the world. The only good news contained in the package is the creation of a European Resolution Fund – but that won't happen for another eight years. Eight years during which much can go wrong and many may change their mind.”

Greek MEP Nikolaos Chountis said that after we saw the financial system “collapse like a house of cards, over 4 trillion euros was found to rescue them while Europe had 26 million unemployed”.

“This proposed banking union,” he said, “gives absolution to a banking system largely responsible for the economic situation in Europe today. It reinforces zombie banks, speculators, and an entire financial system that creates bubbles, imbalances and crises, rather than opportunities for recovery, jobs and growth.”

German MEP Jürgen Klute stressed that a banking union was a step in the right direction and that its purpose should be to spare the taxpayer the costs of banking resolution: “Funding for that has got to be sufficient, and we have our doubts about whether it will be enough.”

Moreover, he said: “Solving the key problem which is that many banks are deemed too big to fail remains a major challenge for the next Parliament.”

GUE/NGL Press contacts:
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group