Pablo Iglesias for EP President

GUE/NGL MEP Pablo Iglesias presents his candidacy for President of the European Parliament:

“The exceptional political situation today in Europe requires not more of the same failed policies, it requires an exceptional response. Perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the European Election results is that citizens all across Europe have rejected the status quo. People have seen that the neoliberal economic model based on greed, free market principles, and the protection of financial interests at all costs is responsible for the ravaged economies in periphery counties, particularly in the south of Europe. Hard fought for gains have been swept away: social rights, democratic principles, equality, and popular sovereignty.

“Austerity decided by the few has diminished democracy and has ruined the social fabric in southern countries and destroyed labour protection laws. You've seen that submission to the dictates of the Troika is economically inefficient and dramatic in terms of social and human rights and poverty.”

“All of us, as elected members, have a duty and a responsibility to defend these gains, and stop Europe being governed behind the backs of citizens. We know all too well that these methods have been proven not to work: we have a continent ruled by a self-serving group of financial elites while the majority of people from the southern countries of Europe continue to be punished by poverty, inequality, and this loss of sovereignty.

“We have before us the unique opportunity to begin a new chapter of political change, to defend our social rights and to make the European decision making process more democratic and transparent. This is the reason for my candidacy.”

Appealing directly to MEPs, who will vote in the new EP President tomorrow in Strasbourg, Iglesias said:

“I appeal to all progressive forces in the Parliament, and particularly those from southern countries, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, as well as Ireland and France: because you know the reality of the social and economic consequences of adjustment programmes in your countries.

“Are you going to vote for your countries, for your people or are you going to vote for the status quo, for the same faces that brought us to the brink? Are you going to side with democracy and listen to the voice of the electorate who demands social justice or are you going to side with the failed mechanisms we know all too well?”