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GUE/NGL demands public control of the markets as well as radical action for jobs and workers

Date

28 Apr 2009

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

"The stability of the financial markets is a public good and should be publicly controlled," said Sahra Wagenknecht (GUE/NGL, Germany) during a debate on proposed measures to combat the financial crisis this morning in the European Parliament. "If left to the markets, we end up with speculation being driven to the limit and the community being called upon to pay for losses. Self-regulation has clearly failed."

MEP Wagenknecht went on to say that instead of banning risk management by rating agencies, the Commission is proposing clearer rules, leaving decision-making to the financial players. "But rating agencies under-estimated the risks and triggered this crisis in the first place," she said. "What we need is a public rating agency for Europe that can assess the risks, but this is not even being considered."

Ms Wagenknecht stressed that "capital can be boosted by state intervention and that part-nationalization could be a courageous first step. At the end of the day, the financial sector should be under public control. It is high time we drew conclusions from this catastrophe."

"According to the IMF's global financial stability report, the financial crisis will cost 4 billion dollars and maybe more," said Mary-Lou McDonald (GUE/NGL, Ireland). "This crisis has been brought about by casino capitalism, crony capitalism and light-touch regulation. The fall-out for workers and their families across Europe has been catastrophic, and this is not being addressed".

Ms McDonald said she was struck in our debates by the "polite way" the crisis was being dealt with, ignoring the real effects of this scandal on the lives of people. Colleagues are "squealing about over-protectionism of the markets. We do need protectionism - but to protect jobs and workers," she stressed.

"Up to now, the EU response to this crisis has been minimal and sluggish. This institution remains wedded to a failed system. Let us acknowledge this and be radical and brave," MEP McDonald concluded.

"The current financial crisis highlights our constant demand on the need for regulation and not deregulation of the establishment and merging of multinationals and other enterprises, and on the need to change anti-monopoly legislation," said Adamos Adamou (GUE/NGL, Cyprus).

"It also highlights the need for intervention to avert the creation of monopolies and cartels, which manipulate markets, fix prices, make people jobless and have profit as their main aim," he continued. It is workers and citizens who are becoming aware of and suffering the consequences of this kind of growth without a social face, "which instead of creating permanent jobs aims at the further concentration of wealth and power in the hands of fewer people".

The liberalisation of the financial markets, a constant demand of the conservative and neoliberal forces, has led to this economic crisis with its disastrous results for people, MEP Adamou said. "But I am sure that the people will send the message to those who have created the crisis and at the same time the inequalities," he concluded.

GUE/NGL Press

Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 842 320

www.guengl.eu

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