European Parliament seminar confirms that Austerity has failed - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy this week co-hosted a hearing in the European Parliament entitled "Critical evaluation of the austerity programmes & the scrutiny role of the European Parliament" which examined the impact of Austerity policies enforced on countries such as Greece and Ireland. Among those to address the hearing was Dr Conor McCabe of UCD.
Carthy, who is a member of the Parliament's Economic & Monetary Affairs committee said afterwards:
"Tuesday's seminar held in the European Parliament organised by the GUENGL political grouping had a clear conclusion: the Austerity Agenda has failed. This failure is evident in Greece as well as in all the countries which have had the policy foisted upon them, including Ireland despite attempts to portray our case as a success story.
"Irish Political Economist, Dr Conor McCabe, outlined the Irish experience in very stark terms. Behind the rhetoric of 'recovery' there remain entire communities and the majority of families who continue to struggle as a result of the Troika programme and its implementation under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments.
"Only last weekend the role of the IMF was exposed by the Wikileaks publication of what was a strategy to plot a “credit event” in order to force Greece to the edge of bankruptcy and to its knees once again.
"Such treachery will not be news to the people of Ireland; we are quite aware of how the Troika, along with complicit Irish governments, sacrificed the Irish economy in order to save vested financial interests.
“What has occurred has been nothing more than a subversion of democracy. It has been 6 years since Fianna Fáil and the Green Party handed over control of our economy to the EU and IMF.
"We, like those in Greece, are still paying a heavy price.
“The so called recovery is a sham, it's a paper recovery for too many communities and families. The reported expansion in the Irish economy of 7.8% in 2015 is at odds even with the European Commission's own Report on "Post Programme Surveillance" which was published in January.
“Irish people know that when we are being presented as a success story for the Austerity Agenda it is being done to force other programme states to toe the line rather than reflecting the realities on the ground.
“We know that this so called recovery has not translated into money back in people’s pockets or in the necessary improvement and investment in public services.
“We know of the chaos in our health service, the chaos in housing provision and the chaos that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of our young people being forced from their communities in search of employment.
“The realities of the impact of Troika programmes and complicit governments are felt in the every-day lives of families in Greece, Ireland and other programme countries. The Austerity Agenda has failed.
"For our part Sinn Fein will continue to work with our colleagues in the European Parliament and people across Europe in demanding the necessary change in direction towards investment and stimulus, towards fairness and sustainable economic growth. This week's seminar was an important part of that journey".