This way it cannot and should not continue. The project of Europe is in impasse. Europe finds itself in an existential crisis. Even before the outbreak of the crisis the directions were set in a wrong way: because the Euro-construction was has been focused unilaterally on monetary stability and flawed debt- and deficit criteria, through a wrong economic and political coordination and a grave neglect of the social union. The crisis was pushed forward through neo-liberal deregulation policy and unscrupulous greed of the financial elite speculating against countries in crisis and pushing for financial market conformity of government action. With the neo-liberal model of subordination under the dominance of the (financial)markets, the EU adds to an aggravation of the crisis rather than a way out.
Instead of naming political mistakes and greed for profits as the causes of the crisis, government deficits are being redefined into a (welfare) state debt crisis in order to legitimize a disastrous policy. Public expenditures as well as labour- and social incomes are radically cut through by injunctions, while wage earners, unemployed and pensioners are made to carry the costs of bank saving procedures.
In particular, the economic regulations (»Economic Governance«) and the fiscal pact pushed through by the German government follow an agenda which threaten to endanger social democracy of member states in irreparable ways.
This policy approach is irresponsible and must be terminated immediately.
In the case of Greece the catastrophic consequences of this approach become obvious in sharp focus. Here, the economy was forced into a recession while large parts of the society are impoverished, more and more people turn their backs from Europe with feelings of bitterness, and democracy is chocked in the grip of the »Troika«.
This development in Greece must be stopped and shall not – by no means whatsoever – repeat in other countries! Europe must embark on a new road of development. If it wants to have a future as a project of democracy and solidarity, political directions must be set in completely new ways. Germany as the economically and politically strongest member state carries a special responsibility. We are demanding from German politics that it may no longer not act as the thriving force of a destructive crisis politics but as an engine of a change of direction long overdue.
The following economic and political measures are most urgent:
German unions and German politics are challenged equally. Wage rise must be stronger than in previous years in order to put an end to the continuous redistribution of income from labour to capital income, and in order to boost the internal market for the benefit of a more balanced development within the EU. Equally important is a comprehensive re-regulation of the labour market aimed to curb the low-income sector and precarious working conditions.
However, these measures do not suffice. A change of path has as prerequisite a set of fundamental changes:
We plead for a European social movement of citizens which embarks on a radical change of path, and acts against the current disastrous crisis policy. A first step on this road must be the rejection of the fiscal pact in its current form, and new negotiations on fiscal and political frameworks. We call on the main political actors and appeal to unions and civil society:
The path of Europe into ruin must be stopped – trough more economic wisdom, social justice, and democratic courage! Europe needs a public debate about a new democratic future of solidarity!