EAPN calls on President Barroso to demonstrate that solidarity with people and not markets is the basis for the financial aid packages
Brussels, 22 February 2012 – In the wake of the new “bail out’’ package for Greece by the “Troika’’, EAPN has sent a letter to President Barroso, copied to the Heads of the IMF and ECB, setting out 5 key actions, consistent with the agreed Europe 2020 strategy, that should be taken in all countries in receipt of such economic support.
These actions are aimed at reversing the attacks on social rights that has been a key feature of these “bail out’ packages to date.
“The Commissions new Annual Growth Survey clearly confirms that austerity measures have had a negative impact on growth, jobs and poverty rates and precisely includes a new social priority, to “tackle unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis”. But the actions taken are in total contradiction with this: the ‘bail-out countries’ are, first of all, forced to accept conditions that are devastating their social infrastructure. Secondly, the 2012 Guidelines for the new National Reform Programmes (NRPs) exempt these countries from developing National Reform Programmes to chart their progress on the social targets, which means the EU is only concerned about macro-economic results and not their impacts on people”, said Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN.
“This leads to a double punishment on ordinary people, and all the more so on people on low incomes in these countries. This makes a mockery of the EU’s supposed commitments to poverty reduction in the Europe 2020 strategy. We therefore urge the Commission and the EU to take action to ensure that the Troika agreements stop generating more poverty. The integrity and future of Social Europe is at stake!” he added.
The letter further calls for 5 Actions:
- Countries in receipt of economic support should receive equal treatment under Europe 2020 – All producing NRPs, charting progress on targets, with country-specific recommendations.
- All NRPs should be required to ensure that proposed fiscal austerity measures do not disproportionately hit people experiencing poverty.
- All NRPs should actively engage civil society and other national stakeholders at all stages.
- A specific delegation from the Commission/SPC should work with countries receiving economic support/surveillance from the EC/IMF and ECB to ensure that conditions do not result in increased poverty.
- All Member States, including Member States receiving economic support should receive at least one specific recommendation regarding progress on the poverty target.
Download here the press release in pdf format.
Picture: @ Rebecca Lee, 15 March 2011.