Spanish crisis underlines the need for European alternatives

Date

13 Apr 2010

Sections

EU Priorities 2020

“Bringing forward a specific left analysis of this crisis is our mission in Madrid,” said GUE/NGL President Lothar Bisky opening the group’s Study Days today in the Spanish capital.

 

The event began with a discussion on left alternatives to the crisis with representatives of trade unions and Spanish left party Izquierda Unida. “Spain is key for the European left as what happens here affects us all” Bisky said, criticising the continuing pattern across Europe of workers being forced to pay to make up for the failures of neoliberal policies. He called for EU governments to move quickly to introduce anti-speculation laws as a first step towards dealing with the deteriorating economic and social situation.

 

Welcoming the GUE/NGL group to Madrid, Izquierda Unida leader Cayo Lara stressed that “this historic crisis of capitalism is more severe in Spain than elsewhere in Europe” and blaming the “failure of the Spanish production model” for the grave situation being faced by workers “carrying the can for failed policies”.

 

“The current weakness of the neoliberal project means we must put forward genuine alternatives” Lara said. “36, 000 people lost their jobs in March in Spain and as the destruction of jobs continues, the 20% rate of unemployment will not be brought down without a serious effort to change the Spanish economic model. The attitude of the Spanish government seems to be ‘carry on regardless’ when a sustained campaign of state intervention in the economy to provide solutions is required, not cutbacks.”

 

Spanish GUE/NGL MEP Willy Meyer outlined the key objectives of the Study Days, which will include a special meeting on the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people with the participation of Saharawi human rights activist Aminetu Haidar. Following the meeting, a delegation of GUE/NGL MEPs will go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver an appeal on Western Sahara to Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

“Our proposals for an alternative basis for EU foreign policy are central to the aims of our discussions this week” he said.

 

 

 

Study Days : 12-15 April 2010

Location: Hotel Rafael Atocha, Méndez Alvaro, 30 - 28045 Madrid

 

 

Press contact Madrid: David Lundy 0032 485505812