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Banks to get off scot-free while people shell out for neoliberal crisis


15 Dec 2010


Euro & Finance
EU Priorities 2020

"Instead of getting to grips with the root causes of the crisis, we are still dealing with the symptoms" GUE/NGL President Lothar Bisky said insisting that "recent decisions at EU level resembled a list of demands from the financial markets".

"Banks have been getting away scot-free and continue to happily speculate while the risks of their actions are borne by the states. The savage austerity packages are forcing people to pay the costs of a crisis they did not cause, limiting consumption and preventing much-needed economic growth."

"We can't merely engage in technical tinkering, a permanent mechanism for the maintenance of financial stability must include measures to regulate market activities such as the introduction of a financial transaction tax and a commitment to social standards. It is also important to change the rules of the ECB so that countries can bypass the banks and get direct credit. Those would be some first steps but these first steps are long overdue. National short-sightedness is actually preventing monitoring of financial markets and the brakes are being put on progress."

Marking the anniversary of "the Greek drama of economic collapse", Nikos Chountis said "the disastrous involvement of my country with the 'support' mechanism and the Memorandum" had brought Greece to "the verge of bankruptcy", both social and economic.

"The Council intends to adopt a permanent mechanism that will not save, but punish, the member states. It will plunge states into recession, unemployment, and will herald the abolition of collective agreements and preferential treatment for banks and big business - is that the vision of Europe to which Mr Barroso refers?"

Portuguese MEP Ilda Figueiredo said it was "not acceptable to continue austerity policies that force unemployment upwards and hit the most vulnerable while financial institutions continue to post major profits". She called for changes to the ECB statute, taxes on capital movements and curbs on speculation and tax havens. Her colleague João Ferreira said the EU, in the decade to come, "should not associate itself with the levels of social regression seen in the previous decade".

David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Gauche Unitaire Européenne/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group