Tag Archives: ETUC

Austerity is illegal: Troika acts against EU law and human rights, says ETUC press release

Now this is interesting.

The European Commission and the European Central Bank are, due to their involvement in the troika, breaching the primary law of the EU, since the Treaty of Lisbon also includes the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

ETUC’s Open Letter to Commissionar Rehn – some thoughts

Here.

You could hardly write a more stinging critique. Of course, it is perhaps not very smart to go a particular person, but in the Eurocrisis Commissioner Rehn has had a very prominent and public role, even though in his work he has been supported by German, Finnish and Dutch politics as well as by his staff in the Commission.

Such an Open Letter is a kind of angry call, but it must also not be forgotten that the ECB is soon starting with an (apparently tight) Asset Quality Review of banks in Europe, which has not only Italian but also German and Dutch banks worried, so I would guess. Obviously, this is not directly connected with austerity policies but given that the capital flows to the South were a major factor in worsening of trade balances and wage inflation, it is from my point of view good that this aspect of the eurocrisis is in the spotlight.

Beyond that, I quite agree with the arguments in the Open Letter. The only thing they forgot to mention was that Irish and Latvian unemployment is very high despite rather dramatic migration.

But yes, I quite understand why labour unions and the ETUC in particular are angry.

Finnish News Sources Clueless about European Action Day 14-11-2012??

It is quite astonishing. And I am not sure in what way. ETUC has already for some time announced the European Action Day against Austerity for today, and the Finnish YLE News seems totally oblivious of this – it talks about ‘a wave of strikes’, ‘unrest’ etc.
So the astonishing issue is two-fold: why does YLE not acknowledge the European action day and why doesn’t ETUC succeed in promoting this day? The map of events shows a rather diverse picture of what is organized, and e.g. in Finland the labour union federations are doing this:

SAK, STTK and Akava take political and media action to call for the respect of workers’ rights in Europe. Activities include meeting with the Prime Minister and Ministers of Finance and Labour. Common demands will be delivered to the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn and Members of the European Parliament.

This is valuable, although a far cry from the strikes and demonstrations elsewhere in Europe. But why doesn’t YLE report about this?? Is the labour movement really that insignificant for current politics?

European Day of Action against Austerity 14.11.2012

Official site here.

The ETUC strongly opposes the austerity measures which are plunging Europe into economic stagnation, recession, and dismantling the European social model. These measures, far from restoring confidence, are only aggravating imbalances and creating injustices.

There is not yet an official European right to strike, so organizing action days is the most ETUC can do. It can call for its members to organize strikes, demonstrations and what-not, but it cannot by itself call a strike.
I am all for an end to austerity. But the situation on the Google Maps -section of the site shows that so far, only austerity-stricken countries are yet organizing something. Nothing in the Netherlands, Germany and Finland. Sweden does have its own currency, so no anti-austerity there (although youth unemployment is rather high as well in Sweden!). The exceptions are so far the UK and Ireland – probably this has to do with their legislation on the legality of secondary strikes and political strikes. At least there was a big demonstration in the UK before last week against austerity.

 

So by all means participate, debate against the Advocates of Austerity and use social media to mobilize people!