Ahead of next week's EU summit, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer has urged EU leaders to address the reality of the European Semester and acknowledge the victims of the crisis.

Zimmer was speaking in a European Parliament debate this morning where the political groups set out their positions on the summit's agenda.

President Zimmer said: “At the forthcoming summit no doubt we'll hear EU leaders say how positive they think the European Semester's outcomes are, and with the European elections right around the corner it would naive of us to think that heads of government would challenge this.

“The GUE/NGL has said time and time again that we should learn from failed crisis management. Economic recovery should aim first and foremost to put the victims of the crisis first: those who have nothing to do with market speculation and the causes of the crisis. We've got unacceptable massive economic, financial, and social imbalances and there have been brutal cuts to public budgets in many member states which are affecting those people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the causes of the crisis.

“Highly indebted countries have been put under macroeconomic surveillance, and I ask why Germany is not put under any fiscal control requirements to increase wages and sustainable investments, when it currently holds the greatest ever export surplus: EUR 199 billion. The profits of some are the debts of others; if we don't change anything about that the Damocles sword of the next crisis will be hanging over the EU.”

The summit will also look at the Commission's objectives on climate.

Gabi Zimmer continued: “I was shocked when I saw that for individual member states there are no binding ambitious objectives. This is more than a great shame because I'm totally convinced that we can only face up to this crisis and its overall consequences if we really look at the social and environmental minimum standards and push those in the interests of citizens.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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