Setting out a series of concrete economic measures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Left MEPs today call on EU institutions and member states to enact a massive, coordinated emergency plan to protect lives, jobs and incomes.
With Europe facing an extraordinary public health emergency, the comprehensive proposals from the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament set out a plan that puts protecting life as top priority.
“We are calling for an immediate, massive and coordinated European Emergency Response Plan that protects lives, jobs, income and social security, whatever the cost,” says GUE/NGL Co-president Martin Schirdewan (Die Linke, Germany).
“The Stability and Growth Pact must be completely suspended. States need to intervene now to nationalise crucial sectors such as private healthcare to direct the emergency response effort. We need to protect jobs and workers’ incomes through aid from states, the EIB and ECB, conditional on businesses retaining their workforce on full pay.”
“We are calling for a universal payment from the ECB of at least 2000 euros per month to all EU citizens to ensure that basic needs can be met for the duration of the crisis. We welcome the ECB’s commitment to purchase more sovereign debt, but in order to prevent a new Eurozone crisis these purchases must be unlimited and allocated on the basis of member states’ need.”
While the measures already adopted by EU institutions in response to the emergency are welcome, Left MEPs consider them insufficient to deal with the scale of this crisis.
Co-president Manon Aubry (France Insoumise, France) also added:
“When confronting the coronavirus, austerity dogmas are unlawful. We welcome the announcements by the European Commission to suspend the European semester and state aid rules.”
“However, flexibility in applying austerity rules is not enough. The EU must help member states to fund the response to the crisis. It is time for the ECB to break from its outdated rules and save lives – not only banks!”
“We want the ECB to act as the lender of last resort for member states, and to provide liquidities to households and SMEs to protect jobs and income,” she concluded.