Following today’s European Parliament vote on the economic governance package, GUE/NGL MEPs regretted the passing of new provisions as an “attack on democracy” that will remove core elements of economic policy from the hands of democratically accountable institutions as well as prevent economic recovery.
“With the reinforced Stability Pact, the Commission will be empowered to sanction Member States that are not meeting EU targets on deficits and debt. Furthermore, countries that are not able to compete with the wealthiest economies in the EU will be forced to follow reform plans drawn up by the Commission. In Greece, we can see where this road leads – deeper recession, social unrest and zero revival of the infamous ‘market trust'” German MEP Jürgen Klute said after the vote.
The package effectively institutionalises austerity across Europe and will most likely exacerbate the recession. Greek MEP Nikolaos Chountis said that it was quite simply “the wrong response”. “Without dealing with the structural problems of the Eurozone, the ‘six pack’ promotes destructive austerity policies. These measures are leading to the reduction of public and social spending and to cuts in labour and social rights. On top of all this, the provisions are dominated by economic and political sanctions that maximize the democratic deficit in the EU.”
“This is a model of coordination based on punishment which will reinforce the stability pact, cutting the possibility for sustainable growth and job creation” Portuguese MEP Miguel Portas added. “The aims of economic policy should be to solve peoples’ not bankers’ problems”, he concluded.