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Using crisis as pretext to fund defence industry a scandal


14 Dec 2011


Euro & Finance
Global Europe

"Higher levels of defence spending are being sought so that the defence industry can procure further profit" GUE/NGL MEP Sabine Lösing told Catherine Ashton today in a European Parliament debate on the impact of the financial crisis on the European defence sector.

"The financial crisis is resulting in people losing their livelihoods, their rights, and their democracy. Meanwhile millions of people worldwide - mostly children - are dying of hunger. We must cut defence expenditure" she said rejecting outright the notion that cuts in the defence sector lead to higher unemployment.

"The large sums being talked about here are needed elsewhere" Lösing said criticising the Athena mechanism to administer the financing of the common costs of European Union (EU) operations with military or defence implications. Under the mechanism, member state governments work together by mutual consent without any common organisation so spending is outside the EU budget and thus beyond the scope of democratic overview and control by the European Parliament

We will vote against this report and we have submitted a Minority Report which outlines our demand for radical disarmament and a civilian EU.

The GUE/NGL Minority Report on this issue is available here.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group