Neoklis Sylikiotis: AKEL denounces Brussels Directorate dictates
Excerpts from the speech of AKEL MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis in the discussion in the European Parliament 4th November 2014 on Industry and Employment. MEP’s and trade unionists from Spain also took part in the debate.
“…The European Union must change direction by pursuing policies that will create new jobs and promote growth and development in industry and SME’s. It has been proved beyond any doubt that the Memoranda and neo-liberal policies are not the solution. The solution to the crisis, and more specifically with regards unemployment and deindustrialisation, lies in strategies that will boost the real economy and social development.
Today the International Monetary Fund, together with the European Commission, decide the future of the South within the EU. Despite conclusions of the European Parliament on the legitimacy of the decisions and the lack of democratic control, the Troika is continuing inhindered its disastrous work. At the same time, the EU is continuing to present economic integration as a solution and is insisting on imposing privatisations, cuts in wages, pensions and social benefits, as well as the curbing of so-called “labour costs”.
The coordination from the Directorate of Brussels has now become a dictate, which is aiming at the complete deregulation of labour relations, the dismantling of the welfare state and selling-off of state and public property. It is precisely these policies that have led to the de-industrialisation of southern Europe, to on-going increase in unemployment, particulalry among young people, to the suffocation of the SME’s and impoverishment of the people.
Through the Memoranda the crisis is deepening, unemployment and precarious work have risen to unprecedented levels, hundreds of thousands of people are dependent on food banks, wages and pensions have fallen sharply, the welfare state has been dissolved, public ansd semi-governmental organisations are being sold off, whilst the SME’s are shutting down one after the other. The right-wing forces are exploiting this situation, and especially mass unemployment, to abolish working peoples gains and rights, attack the workers movement and dissolve the welfare state even more. At the same time, the big enterprises, with the backing of the right-wing governments, are continuing to increase their profits. It is now clear that with the Memoranda austerity policies there is no perspective for the peoples.
SME’s are the backbone of the Cyprus economy. The EU should and must find ways to support member-states in particular that are under Memoranda so that they too can help SME’s and boost industry. The EU must promote measures that will simplify the procedures for the access of SME’s to funding, enhance their competitiveness in a stable business environment and promote measures that will minimise the consequences from the central posiitons held in the market by the big multinational companies. Unfortunately, nothing substantial has been done towards this end. With regards funding, the already reduced funds provided mainly through the HORIZON 2000 and COSME programmes will suffer additional cuts in the 2015 EU Budget.
In Cyprus the Troika, together with the Government, are imposing their well-known neo-liberal policies of austerity through blackmail and projecting false dilemmas. They are even promoting the privatisation of the profitable semi-governmental organisations, such as the Cyprus Electricity Authority AHK, the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority CYTA and the Cyprus Ports Authority ALK. Apart from the attempt underway to sell-off state and public property, through the enforcement of this policy, hundreds of working people will join the ranks of the unemployed as a new private owner will pursue the usual tactic of dimissals to allegedly reduce “labour costs”.
We cannot, and indeed will not, remain indiferent and passive to the continuation of these policies that have l
es in the European Parliament, in combination with the growth of the daily struggles of the workers movement in our countries, demonstrate that another Europe is possible, the Europe of solidarity, social development, prosperity, the Europe of the peoples.”
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