Liberalisation of post is step backwards

30 January 2008

Liberalisation of post is step backwards

‬The SP group in the European Parliament voted today against the further liberalisation of the postal market.‭ ‬Explaining the SP's hostility to the move,‭ ‬Euro-MP Erik Meijer said:‭ "‬We fear that both the service and working conditions for postal employees will get worse.‭"‬.

Erik MeijerThe European Parliament's three biggest groups,‭ ‬the centre-right‭ '‬European People's Party‭' ‬and Liberals,‭ ‬and the centre-left Party of European Socialists‭ – ‬the social democrats‭ – ‬reached a compromise position before the plenary debate.‭ ‬The compromise involved agreement on phase-in times and attendant market measures.‭ "‬This nevertheless remains a liberalisation measure with all of the consequences of such,‭" ‬Meijer said.‭ "‬Cheaper postal services for some may be one of these,‭ ‬but these‭ ‬will be achieved through deteriorating working conditions and lower levels of service.‭ ‬That's why we are voting against,‭ ‬and why we presented a number of amendments which would bring about some small improvements.‭"

Liberalisation of the postal market represents the end of a long process,‭ ‬as Meijer explained.‭ "‬In the second half of the‭ ‬19th century European states nationalised their postal services because private firms could not cope with the demands of a universal service.‭ ‬There have always been protests about this,‭ ‬and firms which tried to break the state's monopoly.‭ ‬They offered cheaper services,‭ ‬but only in the busiest and most profitable areas,‭ ‬not by offering a universal service,‭ ‬and by paying lower wages.‭ ‬The present political majority wants to return to the situation where we have to relay on the market.‭"

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