Enough austerity, says Vice-President of the EU Parliament Gianni Pittella

Do you have alternative proposals?

We must turn the page on austerity. The time for investment has come.  We want a European plan for growth, social cohesion and sustainable development. A plan based on the financing of tangible and intangible infrastructure networks. The first in line are the rail networks, energy networks, telematic networks and renewable energies. The second part is education, training, research and youth mobility. It is a programme that will cost hundreds of billions of euros, and we must put it in place as quickly as we can.

And where do you expect to find these billions, while member states are facing budget cuts, which in some cases are massive, because they are running out of money?

We must bring in European treasury bonds – the famous eurobonds – to collect some 3,000 billion euros. It’s not me who made up this sum: economists led by [former President of the European Commission] Romano Prodi and [Italian economist] Alberto Quadro Curzio came up with it. Of that, 2,300 billion euros would be earmarked for a pooling of European debt, and thus to reduce it; the remaining 700 billion would be used to finance the investment plan. We could tell Merkel and the citizens of Germany: “Look, launching these eurobonds will not cost you a penny, because they will be backed by the gold reserves of the Member States and their public assets.”

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