GUE/NGL MEPs Marisa Matias, Miguel Viegas, Matt Carthy and Fabio De Masi have voted against a report on the implementation of the 2014 priorities for the European Semester for economic policy coordination today.

Speaking after the vote in Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) committee, GUE/NGL ECON Coordinator Marisa Matias said:

“Over the past few years, the economies on the periphery of the Eurozone have been subjected to a disastrous economic policy, which has resulted in escalating levels of public debt and unemployment. This policy has failed to achieve all relevant objectives and we still haven’t seen any kind of change in the Commission's recommendations for member states, which are only based on pursuing a fanatical neoliberal agenda rather than on any kind of serious assessment of the results austerity has produced.

“Growth-friendly fiscal adjustment is only a new slogan for the same failed recipe. To achieve any kind of sustainable fiscal adjustment, the sole priority should be to achieve full employment. This will need an active fiscal policy, even if it means sacrificing the insane fiscal objectives set by the fiscal compact.

“The Commission's policy recommendations add insult  to injury. In these peripheral countries, which are swamped in unemployment and precariousness, the Commission insists on contradictory fiscal policy and labour market deregulation. The failure of austerity policies and the ineffectiveness of the current monetary policy is obvious. The only way to get the economies back up and running is to combine public investment with the protection of wages and other incomes.”

Vote result:  20 in favour, 18 against and 15 abstentions.

Next step: This report (De Backer) will be debated on Wednesday 22 October in Strasbourg and voted on 23 October. 

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