Angela Merkel’s sweatshop Europe plan


Christine Lagarde and austerity, cartoon

This cartoon by Steve Bell is about Christine Lagarde, boss of the International Monetary Fund. While imposing austerity on Greece, Swaziland and others, jointly with other establishment politicians, Ms Lagarde herself gets a far from austere income, paid by taxpayers.

IMF boss who pays no tax lectures Greek people: here.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

Germany’s six-point plan for sweatshop Europe

30 May 2012

It is now common practice to smash up wages and workers’ rights by initiating bankruptcy proceedings. The best known case is the American auto giant General Motors, which laid off 30,000 workers, slashed wages in half for new-hires, and cut retiree benefits. If the German government gets its way, this procedure will be applied to entire countries.

According to a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel, the chancellery in Berlin has drawn up a six-point plan for far-reaching “structural reforms” in Greece and other highly indebted European Union countries. The plan includes the sale of state enterprises, the gutting of employment protection rights, the promotion of a low-wage labor sector, the removal of constraints on businesses, and the establishment of special economic zones and privatization agencies modeled on the German Treuhand.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert has not confirmed the plan, but neither has he denied it. According to Der Spiegel, it will form the basis for negotiations at the European Union’s so-called “growth summit” in late June. Der Spiegel writes that Chancellor Angela Merkel will seize on the call for a growth policy by newly elected French President Francois Hollande, “applying the principle of judo fighters: employing the momentum of the opponent to mount one’s own attack.”

If Merkel gets her way, “growth” will be achieved entirely through the intensified exploitation of workers and not through any plan for economic revival or increased social expenditures.

THE European Union (EU) would resemble a “sweatshop” if the Tories succeed in using “reform” to remove workers’ rights, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady will say today: here.

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