Swoboda on eurozone: 'Lack of political action is irresponsible – ECB needs political green light!'
Eurostat yesterday published the official figures on unemployment in the eurozone. The numbers hit an all-time high in June with a total unemployment rate of 11.2% across the 17-nation bloc and youth unemployment averaging at 22.4%.
Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, called for increased political responsibility to find a solution to the crisis:
"In view of the unsolved problems in the eurozone and the ever-increasing unemployment rates, the lack of political action is simply irresponsible. The economic, social and political costs of staggering unemployment always seem to be forgotten or trivialised when the risks and costs of an active European Central Bank (ECB) intervention are being discussed.
"The latest labour market data shows that unemployment is outrageously high, with few exceptions. But the negative economic situation is threatening to reach even those countries that still have tolerable unemployment rates. In those countries, job insecurity is on the rise."
Hannes Swoboda continued by calling for the ECB to get the green light for active market interventions and for a positive attitude from Germany:
"It is becoming increasingly clear that public and private budget cuts cannot solve the current crisis. Extreme austerity is actually making the situation worse. The consolidation of budgets, which has now been agreed at EU level, must be accompanied by active market interventions and increased investments. Mario Draghi, who has proven to be a prudent ECB President, should finally receive the political green light for active market interventions.
"A positive attitude from Germany is much needed. Germany has done a great deal for the stability of the eurozone so far but all this could be jeopardised if the European Central Bank and the rescue funds are prevented from sending a clear signal to the financial markets, showing their commitment to the euro."