• 11-SEP-2013

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

State of the Union: "The glass is still half empty"

Speaking in the State of the Union debate in the European Parliament, Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, responded to the annual speech from Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

During the plenary debate in Strasbourg, he warned:

"With unemployment stabilising and statistics showing minor economic growth, there are some signs of recovery in the EU. But it is an incredibly feeble recovery. This recovery is a numerical one and the struggling people in Europe have not yet seen improvements.

"Too many people have no jobs or opportunities, cuts to public services weigh hard on them and the health and long-term economic effects will continue to haunt Europe's crisis generation. So the confidence of investors may be returning, but the confidence of our citizens is still at rock bottom.

"The most important lesson for the European Commission – and member states – is that the slight move away from austerity resulted in a slight economic upturn. The hint of recovery we see must now be amplified by further balanced policies for a real and sustainable European recovery. The worst thing to do would be to return to harsh austerity measures and undo the relative stability we have achieved."

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