Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-06-22-Speech-3-188-000"

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"Mr President, for us in the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left, this economic governance package is not only the wrong response to the crisis; it also marks the end of Europe as we know it. Its objective is not economic coordination and fiscal discipline, as it maintains; it is to impose a permanent austerity memorandum throughout Europe, on all the workers. The objective of the ‘European semester’ and national stability and reform programmes is not convergence; it is to abolish collective agreements, liberalise redundancies, privatise industry and do away with public pension systems. These policies do not serve the interests of the people of Europe or their hope of real growth. On the contrary, they serve the interests of the banks, which have knowingly kept toxic bonds subject to large-scale international speculation on their books, and the interests of large corporations which have found, in the common market, a haven for speculation and tax evasion. I would mention, by way of example, the German company Hochtief, which manages Athens Airport; it has not paid a euro since 2001 and owes EUR 500 million in VAT. There is a great deal of discussion about Greece. For a year now, the essence of the economic governance package has been applied to my country with disastrous consequences: the recession is getting worse, inflation has gone through the roof, investments have completely dried up, labour rights and collective agreements have basically been repealed, the biggest drop in the cost of labour has been in Europe, unemployment has reached 20% and debt has increased, fuelling a dangerous vicious circle of recession, debt and more borrowing. That is why angry Greek workers have taken to the streets and squares, fighting to get austerity policies overturned, to defend their income and to defend their labour and social rights, real growth and a better future for Greece and Europe."@en1

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