Time to say goodbye to the Troikas
The European Parliament today approved two reports which paint a damning picture of the role of the Troikas (the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus – the four EU countries under financial assistance.
These reports are the result of an in-depth investigation led by two S&D Euro MPs: Liêm Hoang Ngoc from the economic and monetary affairs committee and Alejandro Cercas from the employment and social affairs committee.
The reports set out proposals including phasing out the Troikas and replacing them in the longer term with a proper EU institution – a European Monetary Fund. Crucially, they also set out details for a recovery programme to repair the social damage that has been caused by the Troikas' ill-judged austerity measures.
S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda said after the vote:
"The Socialists and the Democrats were the first to question the destructive policies of the Troikas by setting up their own 'alternative Troika' when it became clear the Troikas were worsening the effects of the crisis.
"Today, the European Parliament is sending a clear message that it will no longer accept this Europe of the Troikas. The Troikas have shown that Europe fails when it disregards the EU institutions and the community-method."
S&D Euro MP Liêm Hoang Ngoc added:
"Mistakes, disagreements, as well as a lack of legitimacy and accountability have characterised the work of the Troikas. The structure, policies and working methods of the Troikas were all wrong.
"When disagreements occurred between the members of the Troika, they were solved behind closed doors in the Eurogroup. But the Eurogroup is an informal forum of eurozone finance ministers which is not accountable to anyone.
"We need another system for the future that is accountable and legitimate. The European Stability Mechanism should evolve into a proper EU institution – a European Monetary Fund – accountable to the European Parliament."
S&D Euro MP Alejandro Cercas who analysed the social impact of the Troikas stressed:
"The austerity policies and the structural reforms that were imposed in the Troika countries have led to a real social tsunami. They led to massive unemployment, with rates tripling in some countries, especially among young people.
"We see signs of increasing poverty. People are hungry, cold and lacking fundamental public services such as healthcare or medicines. If we don't act, we will end up with a core of prosperous European countries bordered by sinking member states in the south.
"The Socialists and Democrats believe that the European economy should be at the service of the people and not vice versa. The economic polices imposed by the Troikas in the different countries have to be changed. They have been implemented in violation of many international labour conventions and social rights.
"As a result, many European citizens now believe that Europe does not speak for them but for big business and financial markets. We need to repair what was destroyed. We need to recover what was lost. We need to set out a growth programme for jobs because without employment we won't have social justice.
"No society can prosper and be happy if the people are destitute. And that is what is happening in the Troika countries."