Brussels, 22/05/2012

The economic situation of Europe is more than dire and many trade unions are mobilising to express the social anxiety of workers and citizens.

The ETUC expects a new approach for the Euro zone from the informal summit. The time has also come to confirm that it is socially, politically and economically essential for Greece to remain in the Euro zone. To that end, it is necessary to provide real support to the Greek economy and to put an end to the ideologically motivated reforms that the Troika has imposed. These policies of attacking wages, collective agreements and social protection, have led the country into an impasse.

Bernadette Ségol, ETUC general secretary, stated: “We are delighted with the recent interest in growth shown by European leaders. It is now obvious to all that austerity has been a failure. Let us be wary about this reversal in trend, however. Whereas everyone is talking about growth, proposals on how to stimulate growth are conflicting. The new advocates of growth are calling for growth through structural reforms. These reforms are just another word for more deregulation, more flexibility, fewer public services and in short, more insecurity. The growth we recommend is completely different. We want a recovery through investment, through wage rises. The European Central Bank must guarantee the common currency to restore growth and confidence. Finally, new sources of financing must be given serious consideration (tax on financial transactions, Eurobonds). Moreover the May 23rd summit must concentrate on creating sustainable employment. One of the ways to do so would be to approve an ambitious directive on energy efficiency with binding targets at the national and European levels. These measures would guarantee the creation of millions of jobs. Such will be the message that we will convey to the President of the European Council, Mr Van Rompuy, and then at the European trade Union rally organised by ETUC before the informal summit .”

Useful links

- European trade union rally
- Press information
- Flyer