European Commission on a pro-austerity drift

(14 October 2013) The European Commission has exposed its current political line in its latest Communications. Despite the fact that it has been calling to stop austerity and push for growth the European Commission is doing the contrary. The approach of the Communications exposes a fundamental disagreement between the trade unions and the European institutions about the impact of austerity on economies, people and workers when hundreds of thousands have seen their prospects for a better life disappear as their jobs are axed, and many millions are faced with wage freezes or cuts over several years, with many now trying to get by on salaries that have been cut by 20% or more [>]. The Communications prefers to talk about the impact of the crisis in a neutral way, arguing, for example, that “{The economic crisis has increased inequalities and the risk of long-term exclusion while placing severe constraints on public spending}.” EPSU would argue that it is not just the direct effect of the crisis but political decisions about imposing austerity that have lead to these outcomes. The Commission does not take account at all of the [research of the ILO->] on the impact of austerity on public services. [>] EPSU will continue to campaign against austerity and denounce the tricks of European governments and institution to make public sector workers to pay for the crisis.