|When finance becomes fatal|
|Sunday, 27 May 2012 19:40|
Young Greens from around Europe gathered in Barcelona last week for the annual General Assembly of the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG). The event included many long and considered debates about the finer points of Young Green policy positions. On friday 18th of May, however, the young activists took to the streets of Barcelona to get their message across in a more united and striking way, in an action coordinated by the hosting MO, Joves D'Esquerra Verda.
The action, a "die-in" in front of one of Barcelona's largest banks, was aimed to send a message about the disastrous effects on society of the current economic system, and the direct connection between the behaviour of financial systems and the worsening of living standards for so many.
"What we have currently is a system that is profoundly unjust for society," declared FYEG Co-spokesperson Terry Reintke, "Although it is being claimed that cutbacks in key areas like education, health and social welfare are necessary, banks are still being bailed out with public money. It is a system which privatises profits and socialises losses."
"Many citizens are suffering real hardship, not only in Spain but across Europe and beyond," pointed out FYEG co-spokesperson Jakob Schwarz, "It is shocking that some are no longer able to take care of their basic needs. This is why the banking system and the reaction of governments to the crisis constitutes a real and vicious attack against citizens and their basic rights."
Chema Martin, EC member, speaking on behalf of JEV said, "In Spain, budgets on health and education were cut in 10.000M € and this is the same amount of money they put to save the bank system. We are very glad we know there's a joint youth force in Europe, represented by FYEG and all its Member Organizations, which claims against this injustice situation."
FYEG is heartened by the European Parliament's vote yesterday to move forward with proposals for an EU-wide Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). We now call on all member states to adopt and implement this tax, in order to curb irresponsible financial speculation, and to re-allocate funds where they are critically needed - such as supporting those most at risk from poverty, or urgent measures to fight climate change.