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Stop prioritising payment of bank debts over investment in social rights

Three GUE/NGL MEPs intervened in a plenary debate this afternoon on the unprecedented levels of outstanding EU payment commitments.

“The EU is not like the Lannister: it does not pay its debts,” said GUE/NGL MEP Pablo Echenique, addressing the European Commission and the European Council today on the 23.4 billion euro deficit in the cohesion funds.

He continued: “This surprised me very much. I come from a country which has been invited in a very mean-spirited and undemocratic way by the EU and the Troika to change the Constitution and put the payment of bank debts ahead of any investment in peoples' social rights. This is in a country that has experienced and is experiencing a humanitarian emergency, with millions of poor, unemployed and hopeless people.” 

MEP Liadh NI Riada declared: “EU governments found billions to feed the banks, but now they say that money cannot be found to invest in people. The delay of payments not only affects the financial capacity of the member states, especially those which are experiencing dramatic social and financial constraints, it is also hampering the implementation of many EU programmes. We are putting in place programmes which are broader in scope than previously – but less resources are being made available.”

Portuguese MEP Joao Ferreira said: “The same people who are extorting the countries of the periphery, the interests of a largely illegitimate debt, do not pay what they owe to the budget. The need for a review, as early as possible, of the current financial framework, with adequate and proper allocation of resources to the budget, is increasingly evident. Without this 'cohesion', 'growth' and other buzzwords will be just that: empty buzzwords that are increasingly far from reality.”

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