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Left attacks brutal EU/IMF austerity in EP debate

Date

16 Jun 2010

Sections

Global Europe

Criticizing the measures taken by the EU in response to the crisis in advance of tomorrow's Council Summit in Brussels, GUE/NGL President Lothar Bisky explained the key elements of the left's proposal to Commission President Barroso today in the European Parliament.

"Europe urgently needs a social-ecological investment program to overcome the crisis, decisive measures to break the power of financial markets and more economic democracy in the interests of wage earners" he said.

The GUE/NGL group supports protests against current EU policy and is calling for an EU-wide financial transactions tax, environmental taxes and a rigorous taxation of high incomes, property and inheritance to enable investment in ecological and social development.

Calling for a general strike, Spanish GUE/NGL MEP Willy Meyer also expressed his solidarity with workers. "The unions have already announced that in Spain there will be general strike on September 29, coinciding with a massive mobilization organized by the European Trade Union Confederation".

For Meyer at the root of the current economic crisis is "the problem of non-intervention in the economy. This prevents the construction of Europe and disables the cohesion and the existence of a European social model. The deregulated market is now threatening democracy itself" he concluded.

"Austerity is hitting workers and plunging our economies into recession, spreading like a virus across Europe from Ireland to Greece, Spain to Portugal, Germany, Italy, and across Eastern Europe, where the EU-IMF "holy alliance" is imposing the harshest, most damaging neoliberal economic programme yet seen" said Greek MEP Nikos Chountis.

"Why not tax banks to finance a social fund for pensioners, the unemployed affected by the crisis?" he asked, highlighting the fact that 2010 has been officially deemed "EU year against poverty and social exclusion".

GUE/NGL PRESS CONTACTS:

David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12

Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28

Sonja Giese + 32 486 94 50 21

www.guengl.eu

Gauche Unitaire Européenne / Gauche Verte Nordique

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

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