From the European Trade Union Confederation, responding to the informal summit on growth and austerity in Brussels today.
Bernadette Ségol, ETUC general secretary, stated:
“We are delighted with the recent interest in growth shown by European leaders. It is now obvious to all that austerity has been a failure. Let us be wary about this reversal in trend, however. Whereas everyone is talking about growth, proposals on how to stimulate growth are conflicting. The new advocates of growth are calling for growth through structural reforms. These reforms are just another word for more deregulation, more flexibility, fewer public services and in short, more insecurity. The growth we recommend is completely different. We want a recovery through investment, through wage rises. The European Central Bank must guarantee the common currency to restore growth and confidence. Finally, new sources of financing must be given serious consideration (tax on financial transactions, Eurobonds). Moreover the May 23rd summit must concentrate on creating sustainable employment. One of the ways to do so would be to approve an ambitious directive on energy efficiency with binding targets at the national and European levels.”