"Growth Tools Essential For Eurozone Stability", Say S&D Euro MPs

S&D Euro MPs tonight rejected euro zone reforms that they said “would lead Europe in the wrong direction”. But they secured safeguards for social rights in the euro area.

The economic and monetary affairs committee of the European Parliament today voted on a package of six proposals to reform the euro zone’s economic governance.

Said S&D spokesman for economic and monetary affairs Udo Bullmann: “The Socialists and Democrats agree to the aim of reducing public debts and deficits. But we want a smart investment strategy to get member states back on their feet and avoid a lost decade for growth and employment. The stability and growth pact, which governs budgetary discipline, works only with sticks but no carrots.

“A majority of the conservatives and the liberals were not ready to support us in defending investments to boost growth and job creation.

“They refuse to give EU governments any room for manoeuvre to invest in key sectors of the economy linked to the EU 2020 strategy such as transport, energy efficiency, education, research and innovation. This for us was unacceptable.

“We tried our best and achieved good results in defending fundamental social rights.”

Said S&D Euro MP Elisa Ferreira, author of the report on macro economic imbalances: “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.

“When the European Commission has to assess a country’s performance, it will have to take into account social factors such as the level of unemployment and education investment. This is a great achievement for our group.

“In the surveillance of economic stresses between countries, we also made sure that countries with current account surpluses will be checked. These countries also need to be closely monitored because their surpluses often reflect weaknesses in domestic demand.”