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Latest attack on pensions "unnecessary and unacceptable"

Date

16 Feb 2011

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

After today's European Parliament vote on a report on European pension systems, GUE/NGL MEP Ilda Figueiredo set out the left's opposition to increases in retirement ages and the notion of European integration built on the basis of anti-social policies.

"We presented an alternative resolution to this report which demonstrates that it is possible to improve pensions and retirement conditions without increasing the statutory retirement age. This can be done via employment rights, particularly for young people, better wages, and higher taxes on the financial sector and financial transactions."

In yesterday's debate, Dennis de Jong described the proposals to increase retirement ages as "unnecessary and unacceptable" while Thomas Händel lamented the fact that having paid to rescue banks, and been subjected to brutal austerity programmes, "people were now facing cuts in pensions and increased retirement ages". Kartika Liotard said she almost fell off her chair "when (Parliament's) rapporteur described the Commission Green Paper on pensions as 'positive'". "Unfortunately" she said "the Commission and member states are ultimately focusing on the internal market" warning that "the gap between rich and poor will only increase."

GUE/NGL PRESS CONTACTS:
David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Inga Keilmann (DE) +32 493 60 10 23
www.guengl.eu
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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