Juncker's investment plan is nothing more than 'voodoo', according to GUE/NGL MEPs, who took part in a Parliament debate this afternoon on the Europea Council's endorsement of the Commission's plans.

Greek MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis, said: “We are still in the dark about what Mr. Tusk and Mr. Juncker decided about the investment plan at the Council meeting in December.”

He asked: “Where is all the money going to come from for the Juncker package? I don't think leveraging will work in this stagnant Europe. What did they decide about participation of the different member states? What amounts are we talking about here? With what criteria will these investments be earmarked? Will they be used for those in the most need, in areas of greatest unemployment? Or will it just be business as usual?

“In December the EU and the Eurozone had negative inflation, deflation. All Nobel economics laureates have sounded the alarm about this type of deflation. The European economy is considered the weak link in the world economy.”

“When will the European Central Bank (ECB) start functioning as an ECB that serves all member states by buying debt and helping to facilitate the situation?”

German MEP Fabio De Masi, shadow rapporteur on the Investment plan for the group, said: “There is depression in the Eurozone; debt is burgeoning and people are furious. The Troika has yet to succeed, therefore we should bury it. The fiscal pact is not working and financial breaks are not working. We have zero percent interest rates and yet there is still no investment. European investment has gone down by 15% since the onset of the crisis. According to the Wall Street Journal we are lacking € 800 billion a year in investment.

“So the Juncker plan is just voodoo. The guarantees are only a basis on which, allegedly, € 300 billion of investment is going to be magically pulled out of a hat. This is only a fraction of what we need. We ought to get rid of tax havens and avoid tax evasion. We must do something about investing in roads and schools. If the state were to invest then it would be creating assets for everybody. That way taxpayers wouldn't be paying for private investors' profits.

“We need an investment programme of € 260 billion a year. This would generate more tax receipts and higher growth. The ECB ought to be ensuring that the EIB is investing properly, rather than just pumping senseless liquidity into the banks. We need some sort of tax on millionaires.”

The situation in Greece was also discussed during the debate.

MEP Papadimoulis said: “In a few days we will go to the polls in Greece and maybe we are about to see a major turning point for Europe.

“SYRIZA does not want to destroy the EU; it simply wants to make Greece an equal member of the EU. Since 2009, levels of poverty, unemployment, and inequality have soared within Europe, and within the Eurozone. There are huge discrepancies between the north and the south; between the wealthy and the disenfranchised. We believe it is time to move towards development and a New Deal that will create jobs and a social Europe.”

“Yesterday I met Gianni Pittella, chair of the S&D group, who added his voice to the growing numbers of people who say that we must end the one-sided austerity model that only leads to poverty and to disinvestment. Pitella also said that he believed restructuring of the Greek debt was necessary and that the choices of the suffering Greek people must be respected.”

MEP De Masi added: “Roosevelt was quite right when he talked about the power of big money. While we don't have a Roosevelt in Brussels, we do have Alexis Tsipras in Athens. Our answer to corruption and incompetence is therefore SYRIZA; the best 'investment' for Europe.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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