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Trichet's capitulation to speculators at the root of brutal austerity and crisis


23 Nov 2010


EU Priorities 2020

In tonight's European Parliament debate with Jean-Claude Trichet, GUE/NGL MEPs laid blame for attacks on people's standard of living firmly at the door of the ECB President and the Commission.

"The ECB is responsible for the tragedy that has hit Greece and Ireland. We must avoid suicidal austerity packages that put countries at the mercy of the speculative markets" said German MEP Jürgen Klute, calling on the ECB to support sovereign bonds and introduce Euro bonds.

Irish MEP Joe Higgins asked Trichet why he and the Commission "capitulated" to the speculators and sharks on the international financial markets.

"You allowed them to engineer a panic in the markets over the Irish crisis, a panic designed to get you to intervene to guarantee the bondholders their billions that they gambled in bad debts because they threatened to attack Portugal and Spain next. You and Commissioner Rehn capitulated to a market dictatorship that is unelected, faceless and unaccountable" he said asking Trichet to justify the fact that "private speculators and bondholders can gamble tens of billions in private deals with private developers and private bankers for private profit and when the gamble fails you support the pathetic government in Ireland to saddle working people, pensioners, and the poor with the cost of this gamble? Now you've sent in the IMF as the shock troops for neoliberal capitalism to make the Irish people pay. Morally and in every other way they should not pay and they must resist this disastrous attack on their living standards and democracy."

Portuguese MEP Ilda Figueiredo said that the imbalances and disparities between the economies of the Eurozone were increasing despite all the promises and proposals. She asked if it was not therefore time to "overhaul policy" and admit that it is "wrong to insist that countries with weaker economies should strictly adhere to the irrational criteria of the Stability and Growth Pact thereby leading to greater inequality, unemployment and poverty?"

"Do not think it's time to turn attention to social sustainability?" she questioned, raising the case of Portugal where workers will this week hold a general strike to protest against austerity policies.


David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Gauche Unitaire Européenne/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group