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Ambitious left vision needed to combat rise of far-right in Europe - Carthy

1 February, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has joined representatives from left-wing parties across Europe to call for a united and ambitious left alternative to the EU’s austerity policies to fight the threat of the rise of the far right.

“In the past two weeks since the inauguration of the new US President, we’ve seen the implementation of policies that are racist, misogynist and against the interests of working people and the environment. But we’ve also seen inspiring acts of resistance to these attacks, from the Women’s March to the blockade of airports against the Muslim ban.

“The rise of the far right internationally threatens democracy and peace. We cannot be complacent in the face of this threat.

“In Europe we are faced with the impact of Brexit and the rise of the far right and xenophobic forces across the continent, including in countries such as the Netherlands and France which will both go to the polls in the near future.

“The left in Europe urgently needs to organise to put forward a united and ambitious vision that shows an alternative to the EU’s austerity policies is both necessary and possible.”

Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, took part in drafting a joint declaration on the EU’s austerity policies, which was endorsed by European and national representatives of parties including Sinn Féin, Podemos and Izquierda Unida (Spain), Syriza (Greece), Left Bloc and Portuguese Communist Party (Portugal), Die Linke (Germany), Front de Gauche (France), Red-Green Alliance (Denmark) and AKEL (Cyprus).

The declaration was issued at the close of an inter-parliamentary conference in Brussels on the EU’s economic governance framework.

Carthy continued:

“This left declaration calls for an end to the EU’s austerity policies, including by repealing the Fiscal Compact; by bringing an end to the Banking Union and Capital Markets Union projects, which promote banking concentration and risky speculation; and for an end to the Troika’s dominance of the so-called Memorandum countries.

“In place of these policies we want to see public investment in the real economy that focuses on the creation of decent, secure jobs; active policies against inequality and poverty; the promotion of public control and decentralisation of the banking sector; and the creation of an intergovernmental tax body under the auspices of the UN to combat tax avoidance and tax evasion by multinational corporations.

“The failure of the EU’s austerity agenda becomes starker every day. Economists are increasingly calling for public investment to replace austerity policies, and even some of the leading architects of the EU's austerity policies are now rethinking their positions. The left across Europe needs to loudly and boldly declare that an alternative to austerity is urgently needed and achievable, and to join together in fighting for such an alternative.”

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