Responding to Commission and Council statements on economic growth and youth unemployment, GUE/NGL MEPs stressed that the continued focus on austerity policies and deregulation was not providing solutions to youth unemployment.

GUE/NGL MEP, Thomas Händel, President of the Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee, described the current state of play as “outrageous”.  He warned: “We are losing a whole generation and a whole generation is losing its belief in Europe. We think it is appropriate to do more now; we expect more of the Commission and Council. Resources need to be stumped up.”

He continued: “We have to have quality jobs. Precarious jobs, short-term and part-time employment are not appropriate for young people to survive on in the long term. We need to start frontloading programmes to allow us put money where it is necessary. We need to make sure we include the match between skilled labour and labour needs. We need to have a future investment programme for Europe, for all member states and at EU level so that we can generate new jobs. We have to put an end to austerity and make sure we are moving forwards.”

For Portuguese MEP, Marisa Matias, the European institutions have been selling the same packages of austerity and economic deregulation as the only remedy for all Europe's ills, including youth unemployment. “These policies have been imposed on member states, often under financial pressure, threat and blackmail.”

“The problem is getting worse; and now we can add precariousness and poverty wages to that. None of this is improving the economy. Growth is a mirage. The Commission is multiplying its pious statements, each more hypocritical than the last. But the recipe is always the same. No one expects anything from the Commission any more. At least the Commission should let member states choose their own options. Maybe doing the opposite of what the Commission proposes is what we really need in order to have growth and employment.”

Cypriot MEP, Neoklis Syliokitis, said that the Commission and Council were repeating the same wishful thinking in their statements “using the same hard policies of austerity and memoranda.

He evoked the situation in Cyprus, “an example of the tragic failure of these policies that are promoted by the Cypriot right-wing government and the Troika, which have led to youth unemployment of over 28 per cent, 30,000 people losing their jobs in the last three years and thousands of young people emigrating and not returning to their country. Cyprus has the highest rate of long-term unemployment, very high rates of temporary and part-time employment with wages under 500 euros.”

MEP Syliokitis concluded by calling for immediate public investment in social security and the creation of decent jobs.



GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75

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