Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has criticised the European commission’s ‘Economic and Monetary Union package’ released today, saying it deepens the dangerous trajectory of the EU towards less democracy and more permanent austerity.
Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:
“There are no surprises in today’s announcement but it is nevertheless deeply alarming. It formalises the proposals that have been discussed over the past several years regarding deepening economic integration in the EMU, and enshrining austerity permanently into the EU’s constitution, at the expense of citizens in Europe.
“The Commission is proposing to enshrine the austerity straitjacket of the Fiscal Compact, currently an intergovernmental treaty, into the EU Treaty that will apply permanently to all EU members.
“It is proposing to create a European Monetary Fund to replace the current bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, and it is proposing to create an EU Minister for Economy and Finance, in addition to deepening the so-called structural reforms of Member States’ economies.
“The states who may require the aid of European Monetary Fund are those of us in the periphery of the EU –Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Irish state – who have suffered or are suffering debt crises largely as a result of Germany’s massive and damaging current account surplus.
“There are two main goals evident in the Commission’s proposal.
“The first is to implant Germany’s failed and ideologically-driven deficit fetishism ever more firmly in the structure of the EU by creating a Ministry to surveil and structurally reform the economies of Member States, and to surveil and control their spending, taxation and borrowing through budgetary control.
“The second goal is to ensure that the current informal economic governance structure that exists in the Eurozone – outside of the Treaties and beyond democratic oversight – is extended across the EU as a whole in order to pressure the non-euro member states to join the common currency as soon as possible, and to give the Eurogroup the veneer of legitimacy.
“The Eurogroup currently exists informally and operates outside of the Treaty and beyond any public scrutiny or accountability.
“This is the wrong path for Europe and it will deepen rather than resolve the union’s economic problems – and without a doubt worsen the political crisis.
“There are alternatives that could actually work to end the divergence among the Eurozone economies, including a radical overhaul of the ECB’s mandate and monetary policies, structural reform of the Eurozone in order to actually achieve upwards convergence – to limit damaging chronic trade surpluses, and create effective surplus recycling mechanisms that don’t require further trade-offs in democratic decision making – and a real investment plan for the EU.”