No to Austerity – Yes to Growth and Jobs

Nieuws

No to

The austerity measures put Europe at risk of a recession and an increase of unemployment. The bill has to be paid by the banks, not by the workers!

The financial crisis has thrown Europe into the worst situation we have known since the 1930s. 23 million workers in Europe, millions of European citizens who are made vulnerable and insecure with social tensions growing almost everywhere.

In this extreme situation, the only responses from the European governments are austerity measures and cuts in public spending which in turn affect the social security mechanisms.

Meant to be shock therapies to get out of stagnation, these austerity measures on the contrary risk leading us right into recession as was the case in 1931. They will have the opposite effect than expected. Purchasing power will decrease and recovery prospects will drift away. The austerity measures are unfair as the crisis has indeed weakened millions of people who will now have to tighten their belts even further.

Governments have remained insensitive to this fact. They gave in to panic by giving in to the market demands. They penalize for the second time those who are already paying the cost of the crisis.

Far from appeasing the markets, cuts in public spending will risk killing the weak growth we have today while further increasing high unemployment levels.

Socially speaking, we are facing a very tough winter indeed.

The situation is extremely serious and Europe must take its responsibilities

Social Europe is under pressure and this pressure will increase if governments rush into premature crisis exit strategies leading to serious social consequences. Governments have spent hundreds of billions to save the banks where the money is to support sustainable growth and jobs.

Because this crisis is not ours, the ETUC goes on the offensive for a more social and more united Europe for its citizens. The following are our demands:

1. To further develop the European economic governance by implementing new methods to collect funds, in particular by way of a tax on financial transactions and on bonuses, by issuing Eurobonds and designing public investment policies for a sustainable growth.

2. The EU must now focus on decreasing unemployment, especially amongst young people, with a new recovery plan equivalent to 1% of Europe’s gross domestic product. Europe is in urgent need of developing dynamic and sustainable industrial strategies based on low carbon policies.

3. To implement a European economic governance protecting the workers and essential public services and tackling the tax evasion of the rich and privileged as well as the unacceptable accounting practices of certain banks and rating agencies such as Goldman Sachs. The European Union must design new methods to strengthen its fiscal coordination and increase fiscal transparency.

4. The ETUC asks the EU to implement a Social Protocol to ensure a better balance between single market and social rights.

5. To speed up the implementation of efficient financial regulations, both in Europe and internationally.

6. To develop an integrated European political approach for our relations with the emerging countries and to improve international cooperation.

It is urgent to fight for a more social Europe where social negotiations are no longer subject to the market’s rules. We want social progress and we say “stop” to cuts in social protection and “stop” to social dumping.

Take an active part in the ETUC’s European Day of Action on 29 September 2010, the large rally of European trade unions in Brussels, and in other actions in every country.

Stand up against :

– Austerity measures in Europe,
– Job insecurity and unemployment,
– Deregulation of labour standards and social regression,
– Poverty and social exclusion.

Fight for :
– Access to quality employment, stable jobs and development of training for all,
– Guarantee of a decent salary,
– Protection and development of purchasing power,
– Guarantee of better pensions,
– Respect and development of social standards in all countries and of instruments for a social dialogue throughout the entire European Union,
– Access to quality public and social services.

No to Austerity Europe!