Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund

Alternatives to the austerity policy

For a change of course in Greece and Europe

Resolution by the Executive Board of the German Confederation of Trade Unions

The Greek people have decided clearly against the failed European austerity policy in the election and voted in favour of a new social beginning. The majority of Greek voters demand a clear differentiation from the austerity policy that has thrown Greece into a deep social and economic crisis: voters have given their government the assignment of leading the country out of the crisis and seeing to a socially just policy. To date, wealthy and rich citizens do not make any contribution to financing the costs incurred through the crisis. The involvement of right-wing populists in government is irritating and we view it critically. Democracy must be strengthened. This is the only way that Greek confidence in Europe can be restored. We need structures that deserve being called such: an effective financial administration, potent measures in the fight against corruption, and functioning labour market institutions. The rights of labour unions and workers must be completely restored and leeway for socially fair arrangements must be reinstated.

The European Union must make fundamental corrections to its course and it must promote more investments in the crises states, instead of continuing the present cutback dictate. Future investments are the only solid basis in the long term to achieve more growth and employment, more prosperity, and political as well as social stability in Greece and Europe. Meanwhile however, not only Europe is responsible for the future of Greece, but also the Greek government has the duty at the same time to cooperate constructively with the Member States and the EU institutions. In order to ensure that Greece will stay in the Euro zone, the reduction of debt must be structured in such a way that it does not preclude possibilities for investment while facilitating better living conditions for the people in Greece. For this purpose, a master plan is needed, foremost for Greece and the other crisis-ridden states, for a European investment initiative that focuses on fighting youth unemployment.

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Learning lessons from the crisis
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