Prendergast pleads with Taoiseach to lead EU beyond austerity

Labour MEP for Munster Phil Prendergast today called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to build on the Irish experience since the start of the crisis to wean the majority of his conservative Council counterparts off the ‘austeritarian’ vice that has dominated their response so far.


Addressing the Taoiseach in the plenary chamber after he introduced his Presidency programme to the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ms. Prendergast said:


“Your emphasis on the need for solidarity and fairness within the EU as a whole, and your stated commitment to prioritise growth and job creation echoes what I and my social-democratic colleagues, among other MEPs, have been urging for in this house, ever since this crisis first hit the continent in 2008.


“Likewise, you understand the urgent and imperious need for a separation of banking debt and the public purse for the sake of economic recovery, a return to employment and prospects of a decent future for our youth.


“We agree on that. However, the logical corollary is simple.


“Member States stepped in to avert financial collapse and found themselves engulfed in debt as a consequence. The self-defeating, austerity-led response has mistaken causes for consequences, and our fellow countrymen are among those who felt the brunt of it.


“I appeal to you to take our experience in the past few years, and to bring those lessons to bear on the majority of your colleagues at the Council, so that a new approach can be given a chance, in the common interest of all EU citizens.”

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