In a European Parliament debate this morning on youth unemployment, GUE/NGL MEPs spoke out on the flaws with the Commission's youth guarantee scheme.

Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber said: “How long have we been here talking about this and hearing empty promises? All the while a whole generation of young people are left without any possibility of planning their lives properly.

“27 million young people are unemployed in the EU. In Greece and Spain more than half of all young people are unemployed. In Portugal there has been an attempt to fiddle the statistics but any improvements in the figures are due to emigration.

“How is the latest youth guarantee scheme different from all the programmes that went before it? Jobs created are still very precarious jobs and they often replace jobs with rights. Precarious labour undermines the future of these young workers. Recent European Semester recommendations impose reductions in wages and weaken collective bargaining.”

Danish MEP Rina Ronja Kari said: “We must be honest – the youth guarantee has been a fiasco. There is a serious risk that it will be misused to reduce working conditions and create cheap labour. It doesn't grapple with the real problem of austerity, which is creating unemployment. We demand that austerity policies stop.

“We also have to acknowledge that labour markets differ greatly between countries. We need public investments in health and education sectors. We have to acknowledge that old methods are wrong and dare to start something new.”

French MEP Patrick Le Hyaric commented: “There is no future for the EU as long as young people are sacrificed at the altar of austerity.

“You need at least EUR 21 billion for the Youth Guarantee; after all there was no problem finding a trillion for the banks. We need a European reconversion fund to change all the precarious jobs into permanent ones. In each country we need a minimum wage. The Erasmus programme should be extended and grants should be increased.”

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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