Paris, August 26, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
During a meeting of European social democrat leaders, held in Paris, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who particpates as an observer, made proposals based on four axes:
– The first is to double the Juncker package.
– Second, priority to be given to the transfer of resources from the center of Europe to the peripheri and the poorest areas, those most affected by the crisis.
– Third, not to be calculated in the deficits resources used to tackle the crisis and unemployment.
– Finally, he proposed the establishment of a common forum for dialogue of the social democratic and leftist forces in Europe.
“ Europe has been heading the wrong way for far too long”
“We had the opportunity today, representatives of progressive, leftist, socialist governments across Europe to discuss about the course of Europe at a very critical juncture. The result of the referendum in Britain was a wake-up call, which can potentially act as alarm clock because Europe has been the wrong way heading for far too long”, said the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after the meeting.
“We had the opportunity to discuss about the possibility of a common position, common placement of progressive leaders in the summit in Bratislava. On my part, I put on the table the need for a specific set of proposals for strengthening social cohesion and social convergence in Europe on development prospects, for the development agenda and for fostering employment”, he added.
“I asked specifically, given that it is not easy under current correlations for the progressive governments to demand the complete abolition of the Stability Pact – which is one of the causes of the crisis – at the very least examine how we can gradually move to its review through corrective interventions, through exceptions”, the PM continued in his statement.
“I asked to examine the possibility of filing a proposal for doubling the European funding for the Juncker Program, and at the same time the prioritization of the Juncker Program to the countries with low GDP, to those countries that have suffered the greatest wounds of the crisis, in the poorest regions of Europe. Which means transfering resources from the center to the periphery, from north to south”, the Greek prime minister said.
“At the same time, I asked to examine the opportunity to propose exceptions to this narrow fiscal framework, exceptions from the calculation of the deficit for expenditures that are used as development funds, either in connection with the national participation to the Juncker Program, either with the national participation to the structural programs in terms of public investment programs”, Mr Tsipras stressed.
“Of course,” the prime minister said, “I have put the idea on the table for a similar exclusion from the calculation of the fiscal deficit to be applied in regard to funding programs, active programs for the support of employment and the combating of unemployment”.
“Because we can not talk about the future of Europe when we have countries with unemployment above 20% and in particular, this concerns the whole of Europe, when we have millions of young people, unemployed and without hope and perspective. If we do not put Europe back on a social convergence path, then the forces of the extreme right wing will be the ones to prevail and there is a serious risk to the cohesion of Europe itself and the European Union”, Tsipras noted.
“Just because I think the strategy crisis, strategic deadlock of Europe today, reflects the strategic stalemate of the Left and social democracy in Europe, I have also tabled the motion for a dialogue forum of the forces of the European Left and the European Social Democracy on the critical questions today for the prospect of European integration, political integration and deepening, but also the exit from the crisis through policies that would strengthen social cohesion and social convergence. And the proposal was accepted; I think we will have the opportunity to discuss again on these major issues, converging in an alternative social agenda”, concluded the prime minister.