Brussels 25/02/2016 – “Enough of double standards, flexicurity and repackaging austerity, we need new plans with tangible criteria”
Speaking at a debate on the European Semester, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer, criticising the package, said “I don’t believe that the approach to the European semester has been properly reflected. Flexicurity has been resurrected, this is why we are struggling, we need to discuss this and make changes if we are to have an adequate social pillar. We need to ensure minimum standards are complied with but not used in a race to the bottom.”
Portuguese MEP Miguel Viegas then took the floor saying, “Here we see more of the same old recipes which gave us poverty, misery and unemployment throughout Europe. This is a total failure.“
João Pimenta Lopes then took the floor, calling the package a “Whitewash” and saying it merely proposed “instruments which will lessen the sovereignty of states, promote the concentration of capital, tax workers’ rights and promote the casualization of labour.”
Addressing Commissioner Dombrovskis directly, Marisa Matias highlighted the “double-standards” applied, noting, “as far as some member states are concerned, the more important they are the more they can get away with. The so called ‘good-guys’ are the ones who have achieved the worst results.
Making the last contribution on behalf of the group, Tania González Peñas said, “The priorities in the European semester deal with key issues like social and labour rights but the text is repackaging the austerity recipe. It’s time for more than a re-jigging of words. We stand shoulder to shoulder with citizens.”