Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

EU Commissioners Olli Rehn (centre), Algirdas Šemeta (left) and László Andor give a joint press conference on "Action for stability, growth and jobs: European Semester 2012".

EU Commissioners Olli Rehn (centre), Algirdas Šemeta (left) and László Andor give a joint press conference on “Action for stability, growth and jobs: European Semester 2012”.

It’s very annoying or probably preposterous to watch the European Commission playing with peoples’ misery. How else can one explain, that the executive arm of the EU after having observed in its yearly review on “Employment and Social Situation in 2012”, that living conditions in Europe have become unbearable for a fast increasing part of the population, then hearing Commissioner László Andor saying that poverty and exclusion, “point to the need to find better macroeconomic stabilisation mechanisms”?Does the man live in Europe or he enjoys the benefits of his function in a Brussels glass palace, away from peoples’ every-day lives, not looking them in the eyes while they strive to make the ends meet and also pay for Andor’s cosy life.

And all that on the same day, on Tuesday 8 January, when Eurostat announced that unemployment in Europe reached 11.8% the highest level for at least twenty years. According to the EU’s statistical service, “26,061,000 men and women in the EU27, of whom 18,820,000 were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2012.

Compared with October 2012, the number of persons unemployed increased by 154,000 in the EU27 and by 113,000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2011, unemployment rose by 2,012,000 in the EU27 and by 2,015,000 in the euro area … The highest increases were registered in Greece (18.9% to 26.0% between September 2011 and September 2012), Cyprus (9.5% to 14.0%), Spain (23.0% to 26.6%) and Portugal (14.1% to 16.3%)”.

As for the young, the women and the less qualified unemployment reaches exploding levels with one in two without a job.

Not to forget that for the unemployed, statistics are of no value, because for them on every month unemployment is 100%. Unfortunately at this time of economic crisis and rising social misery, government spending on social welfare is sliced to the barest minimum and the countries worst hit by unemployment, are also under draconian fiscal programmes. At least five EU member states, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy are being forced into this by Brussels and some other EU capitals, in order to produce budget surpluses on the backs of the worst hit people, who had nothing to do with the credit crunch.

Macroeconomics or reality?

Despite of all this tragic reality László Andor goes even further surpassing his “macroeconomic stabilisation mechanisms” and says that “we need to develop a much more integrated Economic and Monetary Union, including in the field of employment and social policies”.

Does this mean to create a European Union of generalised misery? Because if he means that the way to avoid future problems is to create today a unified EU of misery, his project will fail. Thank god there are still left some democratic institutions in the EU and the people will deny it and put a stop to such plans.
Andor’s arguments become more alarming when he says that, “This review also shows us what works in terms of taking measures to remedy these problems so that Member States know better how to adjust their policies and build solutions that measure up to the problem we face”.

Interpreting correctly the EC jargon of this sentence one may easily come to the conclusion, that he doesn’t want the European Union to increase the part of its budget devoted on measures to alleviate this situation. He prefers to let the national governments take care of their own problems.

Such an EU policy would let the poorer countries on their own, while dealing with their unemployment and social exclusion drama, while the richer member states will use their increased resources to deal with smaller problems. If this is not an egotistic and anti-union spirit then we have lost the meaning of words.

Unquestionably then, when Andor says “we need to develop a much more integrated Economic and Monetary Union”, he means that this Union will have less to do to with unemployment and social exclusion, leaving this burning matter to member states. On the contrary this Union will act as a well-integrated entity when it comes to monetary problems, asking all its taxpayers to support the banks when they go bankrupt. This is the Commission’s EU not ours!

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