French President Emmanuel Macron defended his record on privatisation and war at a debate on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament today.
His address comes on the heels of France´s bombing of Syria – with allies UK and US – and controversial proposals that will lead to a wave of privatisations and weakening of labour laws in France.
GUE/NGL vice-president Patrick Le Hyaric challenged Macron on his Middle East policy:
“We have difficulty in understanding your concept of a ´sovereign Europe´ when you ignored the EU´s decision-making framework and proceeded without a mandate from the UN – with Mr Trump and Ms May as your only allies – to bomb Syria.”
“If our country carries out these acts that violate international law, we are simply creating an international law of the jungle. The 2013 UN resolution on Syria references chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which mandates decisions on war and peace to the UN Security Council. Why the double standards?”
Le Hyaric attacked Macron´s domestic policies and highlighted the Left´s vision for Europe:
“You are pushing towards an ultra-liberal austerity that is not democratic. This is why problems persist in education, the labour market and other sectors. People are suffering from a decade of austerity while big corporations continue to make huge profits.”
“We must end this dogma of competition, which allows for tax and social dumping, leads to less regulation and destroys public services. We want a Europe based on solidarity. We need social security for work, linked to the necessary training to allow for an upward harmonisation and universal housing.”
“Europe is not providing protection if it signs free trade treaties that destroy social, health and environmental standards. We call for cooperation instead of an economic war. We want a new agriculture and food security policy, to bring prosperity to the rural areas. We must combat tax fraud and tax havens and impose a tax on financial transactions. A Europe which is able to protect would not lead to refugees drowning in the sea or building walls.”
MEP Younous Omarjee denounced new attacks against the rights of European citizens:
“The Europe of now is indefensible and untenable when the fundamental rights of citizens are being questioned, when it builds for common defence which in fact is building for war. The EU was supposed to be for the people but it has become an EU of the rich.”
“We in the Left propose another way, an alternative to ordnungspolitik [the logic of the market], a way for Europe without undoing France, with and for the peoples.”
MEP Marie-Pierre Vieu addressed Macron´s record in France:
“Mr Macron, you speak of more democracy and consultations for the Eurozone but what have you done to make this happen?”
“You have favoured top-down governance, a repressive migration policy, no consultations and violence in universities and in Notre-Dame-des-Landes. You have given us one-way social redistribution to benefit the rich and a disregard for public services.”
“You have adopted a dogmatic application of the directive on rail transport to usher privatisation of the sector. You blindly implement the energy liberalisation directives by giving concessions to the private sector to run our hydraulic dams.”
“The more you push for economic competition, the less we have of social and ecologic. If the Europe you want to build for tomorrow is anything like the France we live in today, it will be authoritarian, divided and deeply antisocial. You will be responsible,” Vieu concluded.