Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-034-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, thank you Mr Verhofstadt. Perhaps we will be able to continue in this direction because, actually, if we are talking about 9 May, if we are talking about Europe, if we are talking about all that we have achieved, we must also talk about what we must achieve so that the future belongs to European citizens. We have a democratic duty to show that, today, there is a possibility of rebalancing our European policies, of putting the European budget, of putting Europe, rightly, at the centre of the necessary transformation so that the European people can say ‘Yes, they were right, 60 years ago, to create the European Union’. We must redefine this reason and then the future will belong to us; if not, it will belong to the markets and not the European people. We must take what is happening today in the elections seriously, because if there is a democratic deficit in Europe, we must face up to it. If the federal Europe that we want is to be democratic, it must be capable of responding to the problems and anxieties of the citizens. When I see the elections today in Greece and that the only solution that the Central Bank has found is to say: ‘There is no alternative to what has been decided’, I would say to the Central Bank: ‘Watch out! Watch out! Remember European history. Remember the history of Germany. Remember the Treaty of Versailles’. When we say to the people: ‘There is no solution’, the people find solutions that are sometimes horrible. We have a duty to remember history. When someone says, in democracy: ‘There is no alternative’, they are wrong. Democracy is always about seeking alternatives; otherwise, politics is not worthwhile. Therefore, I am saying something very straightforward. If we do not want Greece to vote once, twice, three times, four times, until they finally fall to their knees and say: ‘We are sorry, sorry Europe, now we will do what you want’, we must today reopen this memorandum, we must discuss this memorandum, we must propose something to the Greek people, because if we do not propose anything to them, the next election will produce exactly the same result. Reopening the memorandum is not the same as saying: ‘We do not need to make structural reforms’. It is simply saying that the Greek people need to be capable of keeping up with the reforms, so that they are not suffocated, strangled, made thirsty or starved by these policies being imposed on them. If we do not manage to provide this response, they will provide ultra-fascist, ultra-reactionary, ultra-Nazi, ultra-Stalinist, ultra, ultra responses … and this will be aimed against us. Secondly, the French people have voted, and everyone knows that I was on the side of the man who won. Yet what I do not understand from other Europeans is that you cannot, however, say to the French people who have just voted, after a tense election: ‘Listen, whether it is Hollande or Sarkozy, you have to do the same thing’. If that is the case, it is not worth voting, it is not worth changing, it is not worth doing anything. If, today, the French people, by a not particularly large majority – and the situation will be very difficult – decide that change is needed, all of Europe will have to consider how we can change. If Mr Monti listens carefully to what is happening in Italy – and we have seen it in the local elections – this will have to change somewhat in Italy too. In Spain, Mr Rajoy knows that it must change somewhat as well. It is obvious, therefore, that today, it is not a question of always repeating the same thing between stability, growth, etc. We must give hope to the European people. This hope cannot come from national budgets. That means that we Europeans, we must take hope into our hands for the European people. What is hope? It is a European budget, it is our own resources – and Mr Verhofstadt is right – but to strengthen the European Investment Bank, to create a lever of and establish a programme for a green new deal, for an ecological transformation of the European economy. We must create employment, if necessary by borrowing through the European Investment Bank, in order to restart the economy. Then, with the European budget that we will have, we will be able to partly reimburse this recovery. If we do not restart the European economy, if we stop, if we say: ‘No, no, you will see, everything will be fine’, we are heading for disaster. The neoliberal economy has led us to disaster. It has to be said, it has to be said to all the governments that, if we do not change the rhythm of our economies, we will all be heading for disaster. I would like to finish with something very simple. There is said to be a danger facing the economy. Of course, but there is another danger: a danger facing democracy. If the people no longer believe we are capable of managing our lives, of managing the necessary changes, history shows us that the people do not gravitate towards the revolution that will save us all, but the one that will lead us to horror."@en1

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