GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer comments on the EU Summit:
“Destructive austerity continues to drive millions of people into poverty. Although EU leaders make statements on growth and employment, they contradict themselves by keeping to the austerity doctrine which does nothing to combat exploding levels of poverty and unemployment. While the European Parliament demonstrated its democratic power this week by rejecting the false compromise leaders made on the MFF, Europe’s elites seem stuck in a perpetual crisis. The money sidelined for fighting unemployment and poverty under the Compact for Growth and Jobs agreed on in June is not nearly enough, and, to boot, the money that is there often does not get to the Member States most in need as they can’t fulfil the conditions for the payments.
Commenting on the situation in Cyprus, she continued: “Proposed wage and benefit cuts, deregulation and privatisation commitments hit hardest those who are not responsible for the imbalances of Cypriot banks. We demand that the privatisation of companies owned in part by the state is not a condition for bailout payments.
To undermine the power of Cyprus in the negotiations they tried to paint the country in a bad light by describing it as a tax evasion paradise for Russian oligarchs with no proof to back up these accusations. The previous government of former Cypriot President Christofias managed to safeguard the health and education sector from privatisation in the memorandum of understanding. This must be adhered to.”
Zimmer also condemned the arrests of trade unionists and European Spring activists made by Belgian police during yesterday’s peaceful protests in front of the Council building.