EP approves the straight-jacket of austerity – no perspective on jobs
(29 September 2011 - Press Communication) The European Parliament approved legislative measures which put a straight jacket on the countries of the European Union, 28 September. The measures aim to address excessive public deficits, reduce public debt and correct macro-economic imbalances but do nothing to enhance growth and create jobs. The package does not stimulate investment in public services and infrastructure nor in the green economy.
These measures do not address the causes of the crisis: growing inequalities, precarious jobs or financial deregulation which paved the way for the greed of bankers and corporations says Jan Willem Goudriaan of EPSU, European Public Services Unions. This unfair package puts the burden of austerity on public service workers like nurses, firefighters, teachers and many other low and middle income workers for many years to come.
The measures were agreed between the Council (Member States) the Parliament dominated by the European People’s Party (EPP), Liberals (ALDE) and Conservatives and Commission. Due to trade union pressure the Parliament has adopted a clause that recognizes the autonomy of the social partners. It is to prevent that the Commission can issue wage diktats as part of the corrective part of the macro-economic imbalances legislation. The European Commission, Council or ECB have no competence in the matter of wages according to the Treaty.
EPSU has called for a positive approach with investment in public services and recovery, Eurobonds to deal with debt, and fair and just taxation which includes a financial transaction tax on speculation and taxation on wealth for example. For the European economy to grow again Europe needs wages to increase to help the demand side.
For further information, please contact Pablo Sánchez 00 32 474 62 66 33 psanchez epsu.org