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A reversal of thinking and approach is required!


16 Nov 2011


Euro & Finance

Responding to statements by Presidents Van Rompuy, Barroso and Juncker on economic governance in the European Parliament this morning, GUE/NGL President Lothar Bisky said markets remained unaffected by the decisions of the last EU summit and warned that speculators had "the next eurozone country in their sights".

On the five proposals announced by President Barroso to reinforce economic policy coordination, he asked: "do you have the courage and ability to stand up to the financial sector and prevent future waves of speculation?

"The deliberations of the ECOFIN on the financial transaction tax highlighted the lack of political will by Member States even to take the smallest steps. How big does the crisis need to become, how many countries must be hit, and how many sacrifices must populations suffer until the necessary insight to take action prevails,?" he asked.

President Bisky stressed that one question seems to have been totally disregarded. "How can additional funding sources for states be opened up? Government revenues must be increased. To date, the only measures proposed are to reduce social benefits, wages and pensions, or to raise VAT. That means consumption is being strangled, and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Also, there is no talk of increased taxation for banks, large corporations and the wealthy", he added.

"Citizens do not see themselves as responsible for the crisis, and they are not. They demand fairness, including fair taxation - hence the mass protests against austerity, hence the political instability in the countries worst hit, where many governments have been swept away. If austerity is further intensified the protests will continue to grow - where does this lead us?" he asked.

"It has been shown that the neo-liberal mantra of lowering taxes and reducing regulation of markets led to the excesses of the global financial system. A reversal of thinking and approach is required!" Lothar Bisky concluded

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20   

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group