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Economic governance - vulnerable groups to pay the price for financial crisis

Date

24 Nov 2010

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Speaking during the Parliamentary debate this morning on the conclusions of European Council and the results of the Van Rompuy-led Task force on economic governance, GUE/NGL President Lothar Bisky welcomed the permanent crisis mechanism to maintain financial stability in the euro area but criticised the economic governance plan as "leaving a lot to be desired."

Not only does it try to impose the strongest possible control over the budgets to avoid long-term deficits, he said, but recommends a cautious recovery from the crisis through a radical reduction in public spending. "This is not only absurd, it is totally counterproductive."

No lessons have been learned from the experience of the Stability and Growth Pact, which has clearly not worked, he said, adding that heavily indebted countries cannot be expected to pay fines. This approach "will only destroy the solidarity between the countries of the union".

President Bisky does not want to see "ordinary people paying for the crisis through wage reductions, social dumping, cuts in the education sector and increasing unemployment."

"What we need is a social and just Europe based on solidarity. Politics must take primacy over economics," Lothar Bisky concluded.

"With the IMF, ECB and the Commission coming in with very tough conditions, it is clear that billions of euro worth of cuts will be brought in in Ireland. Jobs will be lost, there will be significant reductions in services and income taxes being raised for the lowest earners," said Irish GUE/NGL MEP Bairbre de Brún.  She said the poor, sick, pensioners and vulnerable groups will bear the brunt of these austerity cuts. "This is not help coming from Europe therefore we will strongly oppose it."

Instead of seeking a mandate to implement these cuts, MEP de Brún said the Irish government will not have an election until the budget is passed. "There was another path and they chose not to take it. They chose to act for the good of their friends in the banks and not for the good of the Irish people," she concluded.

 
GUE/NGL PRESS CONTACTS:
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
www.guengl.eu
Gauche Unitaire Européenne/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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