S&Ds Relaunching Europe in Portugal: "We must end the Troika & fight for our youth so they are not forced to emigrate"

Relaunching Europe in Coimbra, Portugal

When holding another of its’ Relaunching Europe events, the S&D Group yesterday discussed "A brighter future: Jobs for all" in Coimbra, Portugal. Speakers included among others Antonio Jose Seguro, Secretary General of the Portuguese Socialist Party, young entrepreneurs, trade union representatives and several MEPs from the S&D Group in an open dialogue with citizens.

Speaking in Coimbra, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:

"Europe is not working and we are seeing an ever greater division between North and South and rich and poor.

"Since 2008 the Portuguese workforce has been reduced by 600.000. Last year more than 120.000 people emigrated from Portugal to find work. In Portugal and other countries, such as Spain, we are losing whole generations of young people as they do not return to their home countries.

"We must end the Troika with their disastrous impact on the social fabric of crisis driven countries and turn the page to an economic policy based on growth, investment and jobs.

"Today the relation of education spending to GDP is less when compared with five years ago in 20 EU Member States. This is a dead-end street. Investment in education, R&D and skills must be encouraged and through various funds, such as the EU budget, we must fight for an increase of these expenditures.

"We are one Europe and we must stand together in our fight for a job-led economic growth."

Edite Estrela, Head of the Portuguese Delegation in the S&D Group, said:

"As pointed out by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, inequality and austerity are two of the main reasons for the crisis that Portugal and other countries find themselves in today.

"Inequalities have reached a dramatic level in Portugal as a consequence of the policy imposed by the Troika. Today one fourth of the Portuguese population lives in poverty and the level of youth unemployment has reached 35%. Immigration to Portugal has decreased and emigration has increased – even despite a higher level of education of Portuguese citizens.

"The Troika recipe for Portugal has failed. It is time for change; not only for Portugal but for Europe as a whole to face a better era after the EP elections in May 2014".

The S&D Group will hold its next event under the Relaunching Europe initiative in Vienna on Monday, 17 March 2014. Speakers will among others include S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda and EP president Martin Schulz on the topic of European Media and the Digital Agenda.

The Relaunching Europe initiative, launched by the S&D Group in 2012, aims at entering into a dialogue with citizens and journalists all over Europe about the future of the EU.

To read more on the initiative, please go to: http://www.relaunchingeurope.eu/