EU Austerity Deal Will Worsen Europe's Problems

Progressive Euro MPs warned that the economic austerity package approved today in the European Parliament will worsen Europe’s problems.

Criticising the failure of the agreement to promote jobs and investment, S&D group leader Martin Schulz said: “The deal concluded between the EU council and a majority of liberal and conservative MEPs is an austerity pact that fails to promote growth, jobs and investment. It will worsen the situation in Europe, not improve it.

“We went for compromises until the very last minute. We tabled an amendment for eurobonds through which to manage part of the debt of member states but that was rejected.

We also also wanted to give EU governments room for strong investment programme to offset the effect of cuts.

“But what was agreed now was a message to the markets and some ratings agencies and not the necessary message of hope to our citizens. With the one-sided approach that focuses on cuts, we could not support the package as a whole.”

He added “The deal takes the wrong direction. We want sound public finances but this package offers only cuts and sanctions. There are no incentives, no measures to promote investment and nothing to modernise the economy.

“There is no clear commitment to make job creation a priority together with a legally-binding EU2020 strategy for jobs and growth.”

S&D Euro MPs backed however an agreement on measures to protect workers’ rights, based on the report of their Portuguese colleague Elisa Ferreira.

Said Martin Schulz: “We made sure that the assessment of macro-economic imbalances should not affect fundamental rights, in particular the right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective bargaining. This is an achievement that we should be proud of because it was not easy.”

The S&D group in the European Parliament has launched an appeal to change Europe at www.changeforeurope.eu.

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