Callanan: Open markets will reduce youth unemployment, not undeliverable socialist ‘guarantees’

In a debate on the economy and youth unemployment with the European Commission President Barroso today, ECR Group Leader Martin Callanan MEP argued that the European Social Model is not working.

In a debate on the economy and youth unemployment with the European Commission President Barroso today, European Conservatives and Reformists Group Leader Martin Callanan MEP argued that the European Social Model is not working, and European leaders are acting irresponsibly in sustaining socialist policies that promise a lot but fail to deliver jobs and growth.

Speaking in the European Parliament ahead of an EU summit on the topics later this month, Mr Callanan said that the EU should stop undermining steps forward on market-opening with more rigid social legislation, higher taxes, or more red tape. He also attacked the commission for taking provocative actions towards China that risk starting a trade war.

He said:

“Three years ago the Troika predicted that Greece would grow by 2.1 percent in 2012. In the real world we know that was completely fallacious and it contracted by 6.4 percent.

“This forecast sums up all that’s wrong in Europe today. Of course the prediction was nonsense. Yet our leaders keep promising us things that they cannot deliver; guaranteeing us benefits and payments that have not been earned through productivity, with the bill being picked up by our children and grandchildren.

“In Greece the IMF confirms that the policies pursued by the Troika there have been nothing short of a disaster. With youth unemployment at 58.3 percent, surely commissioner Rehn it is time to stop trying to blame everyone else, take some responsibility, and find a different course?

“Likewise, when it comes to the growing problem of youth unemployment what is our answer? To once again promise what we cannot deliver. Mr Swoboda has the right intentions when he talks about a youth guarantee, but how are we creating these new jobs? More taxes? More regulation? More Europe?

“Socialists believe that governments can create jobs and growth. They can’t. This attitude is part of the reason for our current debt mountain.

“The much-vaunted European social model is failing to deliver its core objectives of providing employment and adequate social conditions. As former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in 2005, “what type of social model is it that has 20 million unemployed?” I wonder what he would say today now its risen to 26 million?

“So we need a completely new model in the EU – based on freedom, on liberalism, and on open markets and free trade.

“Instead of tackling the symptoms of our economic woes, let’s tackle the causes. Instead of timid efforts to open markets, we need bold and ambitious proposals. At present, every positive step forward on completing the single market or signing an FTA is countered by a backwards step from the commission’s socialist affairs directorate, in league with this parliament’s unemployment committee.

“It is irresponsible to promise a job for every young person in Europe – but we can say that we will tear up the legislation that discourages work, that drives up energy prices, that ties entrepreneurs and businesses down in bureaucracy, and that closes our markets. And we will do what we can to cut taxation that depresses growth.

“On the issue of taxation, I read at the weekend that the commission is demanding Spain increase VAT on food I ask myself what alternative reality does the commission live in? People are trying to feed themselves and the commission are trying to make it harder. With such warped priorities is it any wonder that 72 percent of Spanish people don’t trust the EU?

“President, Throughout history Socialist policies and centralised statist policies have failed. Economies based on personal freedom and responsibility have thrived.

“Socialism is all about promising the people things that can never be delivered. We need only look to France for the proof. President Hollande was elected pretending that things could go on as normal, as if governments created wealth and jobs out of thin air and workers could have limitless social protections if only they erect an economic Maginot line on Europe’s border.

“He’s been mugged by reality. French unemployment is its highest in 15 years. Yet this weekend he said ‘the crisis in Europe is over.’ As if we needed further proof of how out of touch he is.

“So, instead of more socialism let’s allow businesses to do what they do best: create wealth.

“Let’s stop trying to start a pointless trade war with China and instead seek to lead the world in opening up trade access. Let’s be honest that free trade is about concentrated losses and dispersed gains so, in the long run, some may lose but overall we all gain. So let’s also drop this futile effort to protect the uncompetitive French film industry in the US trade deal.

“President, let’s start trusting people again, to take responsibility for their own destinies.”

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