Warum ich gegen Fiskalpakt und ESM gestimmt habe –englische Übersetzung
Personal statement by Christine Buchholz from the Left Party parliamentary group, on the basis of Rule 31 of the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag, in reaction to the bill tabled by the CDU/CSU and FDP parliamentary groups on the Treaty of 2 March 2012 on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union:
“Today, I voted against the Fiscal Compact tabled by the CDU/CSU and FDP parliamentary groups, since it poses a threat to social and democratic achievements across Europe and in Germany. The Fiscal Compact is an authoritarian treaty, which undermines democracy and disempowers parliaments in favour of unelected EU technocrats. The Fiscal Compact will impose an impoverishment programme like the one in Greece on millions of workers across Europe. In Greece, the IMF, ECB and European Commission troika has ordered extremely socially unjust programmes of cutbacks. Wages and pensions have been slashed, public assets privatised and public-sector employees sacked. The health system is in a state of collapse.
The Greek population is not to blame for the desolate situation. The German Federal Government has had to admit that the image of the “lazy Greeks” is false. Even prior to the crisis, the Greeks, with an average of over 42 working hours per week, held the record within the EU. Working hours in Germany, averaging just under 36 hours, are significantly lower. On the same note, the public sector in Greece is by no means inflated and, from 2008 to 2011, public-sector employees made up between 20.7 and 22.4 per cent of the workforce. In Germany, the figure was between 24.7 and 25.6 per cent.
Since 2008, unemployment has risen in all EU countries, except Germany and Luxembourg, reaching almost 10 per cent in 2011. Young people between 15 and 25 years of age are particularly badly affected. Spain and Greece, with youth unemployment running at 50 per cent, have the worst situation in this respect. The Fiscal Compact represents an attack on workers’ rights, wages and public-sector jobs. Angela Merkel believes that she can tackle the crisis in Europe through competition for the lowest wages. We from the Left Party, in contrast, are advocating a minimum wage and expansion of the welfare state.
The Fiscal Compact will force the Federation, Länder and local authorities in Germany to save a minimum of 25 billion euros from next year onwards. In my constituency in Offenbach, we are already faced with the effects of budget shortfalls: the employees in the hospital are rightly fighting to prevent the hospital being bought by private investors. Every privatisation leads to wage dumping and staff cuts, at the expense of both employees and patients. The Fiscal Compact will further heighten the pressure for cutbacks and privatisation in the Länder and municipalities. The Federal Government’s growth pact is worth only 10 billion euros, whilst the Fiscal Compact will mean cuts of 500 billion euros in Europe.
The Left Party wants to ensure that those who caused and benefited from the crisis are asked to pay their share. The banks and finance markets must finally be disempowered and millionaires taxed. My solidarity is towards the population in Greece, Spain and other states affected by the crisis, which is opposing the impoverishment programme. I do not want a Europe of the banks; I want a Europe of solidarity, and that is why I today voted against the Fiscal Compact.”
Christine Buchholz, The Left Party. Berlin, 29 June 2012