Today I questioned Economics Commissioner Ollie Rehn on the failure of Austerity and its rejection across Europe. Below is the text of the speech and you can watch the video here:
“Mr President, listening to the speeches here it seems clear that the significance of what has happened across Europe in the past weeks has been lost on the leaders of the EU; that they are attempting to say that this is some sort of appeal by people to add a sprinkling of growth rhetoric to the reality of policies of austerity, when in reality what has happened across Europe is a rejection of your failed austerity policies, your policies that have created mass unemployment, that have returned economies across Europe to recession, and a demand for a fundamental change of policy.
“Growth will not be achieved simply by stamping the word onto an austerity treaty, because austerity kills growth. The EUR 166 billion worth of extra cuts and taxes demanded by the austerity treaty will undermine any basis for sustainable economic recovery.
“People in Ireland on 31 May will have an opportunity to join with millions of others across Europe in saying ‘no’ to austerity and saying ‘no’ to the austerity treaty. If we vote ‘no’, will the Commission accept the verdict of the Irish people, accept that austerity has once again been rejected, and throw that policy and this treaty in the dustbin where it belongs?”