EPSU to European Summit: Public services are key to get us out of your mess!

Press Communication, 10 February 2010

A clear message and not business as usual, is what we expect from the European Summit on the financial and economic crisis", says Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary. “We expect that bankers will be submitted to a regime of tough controls and that financial speculators will be taxed on their dangerous financial dealings. We demand that government leaders propose additional measures to create jobs and invest in public infrastructure and services.

EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan: “The responsibility for this financial and economic crisis lies with politicians. They listened to the lobbies of bankers, the lure of neo-liberal ideas and deregulated financial markets. They consciously took the decision not to strengthen control over banks and privatized public banks. The consequence is a social bloodbath affecting millions of workers, our families and our communities.”

EPSU wants the European summit to recognize the central role of public services for economic recovery. Instead of discussing early exit strategies with cuts in public service jobs, wages and spending, Europe’s tens of millions of public service workers want respect for their work, an end to precarious work, jobs for young people and a fairer distribution of wealth.

Slashing pay and jobs of nurses, firefighters, tax-collectors, teachers, child and elderly care workers, refuse collectors and so many other of the thousands jobs carried out daily, will not help to get the economy back on track; introducing a tax on financial speculation, investment in green growth and public services and maintaining workers pay and conditions will.” EPSU’s representative added.

EPSU’s vice-president Rosa Pavanelli will participate in the demonstrations and strike today in Greece, 10 February 2010.

For more coverage of Europe’s public service workers actions: http://www.epsu.org/a/6207

EPSU has also written to Eurozone Council of Ministers president the Luxembourg Prime Minister, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker (see letter below).

EPSU and the European municipal employers will send a message to the Informal Summit. The social partners stress the importance of public services and investment: http://www.epsu.org/a/6212

Contacts for more information

Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU, +32 2 2501080 or by email: jwgoudriaan@epsu.org

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 250 trade unions; EPSU organises workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration, in all European countries including in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood. EPSU is the recognized regional organization of Public Services International (PSI).

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