Hannes Swoboda: „Chancellor Merkel, we need a vision for Europe’s future with a strong social model“

German chancellor Angela Merkel is travelling to Brussels today to speak to the members of the European Parliament. Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament will debate with Chancellor Merkel on behalf of the S&D Group and demand the necessary reforms and solutions to find a way out of the crisis.

Ahead of the exchange with Chancellor Merkel, Hannes Swoboda said:


„Chancellor Merkel, your commitment to Europe is not sufficient. Germany has traditionally played a leading role in Europe but under your leadership this is no longer the case. Where is your commitment to a strong Europe with a clear long-term vision?


„Europe is in one of the worst economic crises of all times. We must rebuild economic strength but this is only possible if we strengthen the welfare state so that it strengthens the competitiveness of our continent.


„The policies that Chancellor Merkel advocates for countries such as Greece and Portugal – and for the whole of Europe – are threatening the social cohesion of Europe. The Troikas at work in several of these countries should not be supported, as they are ‚Destroykas‘, undermining the principles of the European social model.


„Germany must push for a swift solution to the banking crisis. This is indispensable for countries like Spain, Italy and Ireland. They need our support and solidarity. The ESM (European Stability Mechanism) must be ready for action as soon as possible.


„Where is your sense of solidarity in this crisis, Chancellor Merkel? To you, the crisis is a mere debt crisis that justifies those harsh austerity policies. We cannot tolerate the increasing unemployment and rising political extremism all over Europe which are the unacceptable consequences of these austerity policies.


„Germany could choose a pro-European path by supporting a lowering of the unjustifiably high interest rate spreads among the eurozone countries.


„Instead of constantly proposing new institutional changes you should act on the pressing current problems. We stand for a stronger Europe and stronger budgetary policy for all member states, at least for all eurozone countries. The proposal of a separate eurozone budget lacks seriousness. What we need is a European budget with which we can create much-needed growth for Europe.


„Europe expects a lot from Germany. A neo-liberal diktat cannot be the answer. Germany must follow a long-term vision for a socially balanced Europe.“