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De Jong: European Parliament should listen to Europe’s people, not Merkel

November 7th, 2012 • SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong wants the European Parliament to organise a hearing with European trade unions and anti-poverty groups in the near future. ‘The European Parliament is certainly listening to people like Merkel who represent the big corporations and banks,’ says De Jong, ‘but not to the people who have suffered most under the crisis.’

Denins de JongMerkel’s visit to the European Parliament was preceded by a protest from left Euro-MPs who were calling attention to the social consequences of the austerity policy. During the debate with the German Chancellor little room was left for discussion of any substance. ‘Of course it’s positive that the Chancellor appeared in the European Parliament, but there was absolutely no real exchange of views,’ says De Jong. ‘Merkel spoke, it’s true, about the European model under which social values and economic growth go together. The Chancellor followed this, however, by defending old-fashioned neoliberal policies, urging further lowering of wages in the southern member states.’

SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong will in the short term bring forward a proposal for a European poverty conference organised at the European Parliament involving anti-poverty groups, churches and trade unions. ‘It would be good if the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz could urge the Chancellor to inform herself about the social consequences of her European policy and meet with unemployed people and those who are suffering badly under the austerity policies that she is imposing on the whole of Europe.’

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