The right direction?



The financial meltdown in Cyprus, and its impact on its citizens, is the umpteenth example of how speculation and deregulation have taken over the real economy in Europe.

Actually it is the Cypriot workers who are paying the ultimate price now.

Many people will not receive their salaries this month and many others, in both the public and private sectors, face losing their jobs.

This is on top of the fact that for nearly two weeks Cypriots were unable to withdraw cash after the banks were temporarily closed.

But while the Eurogroup has imposed severe measures which are affecting the savings and cash needs of everyday Cypriots, those responsible for the banking crisis continue to go unpunished.

Such an approach reveals a blatant disregard for the social dimension of Europe, which was one of the founding principles of the Union.

In February, in the new roadmap for a stronger economic union, the European Council showed concern about rising unemployment and increasing poverty, worsened by disastrous austerity policies.

As a result, it called for the European social contract to remain “the cement of political stability.”

However, despite the declarations of intent about the importance of social welfare and social dialogue, it seems that the course of direction hasn’t changed much.

Under the pretext of growth and competitiveness, the roadmap still pushes for deregulation of labour markets and for the reduction of wages.

The heavy social impact of those policies has already created political instability in most parts of southern Europe, with serious risks for the European Union as a whole.

What more will it take for Eurocrats to realise that their road map is leading them in the wrong direction?