„Austerity kills“ – Swoboda condemns ever-worsening social crisis in Europe

The European Commission’s quarterly review of employment and the social situation in Europe, published yesterday, found that the social crisis in the EU is continually worsening. At the same time, a scientific study in The Lancet has analysed the links between austerity, the financial crisis and health in Europe and found that austerity measures have increased the spread of infectious diseases and led to higher suicide rates.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group, called on the European Commission to send a clear signal to member states warning against extreme austerity:

„The S&D Group is calling on all European institutions to soften the harsh austerity that has led to dire living conditions for millions of Europeans. In particular the European Commission must make it unmistakably clear that the vicious cycle of crisis, austerity and unemployment – leading to misery for Europeans – can only be broken with targeted investment for growth. It is essential not to burden the most vulnerable in Europe with ever more austerity measures.

„The latest scientific findings linking austerity to the increase in sickness and deaths in Europe should lead the European Commission to realise it is not just cigarette packets that need to come with warnings: every Commission report should be labelled ‚Austerity kills‘.“