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On the initiative of the ETUC, a European day of action will be organised on 29 February, the eve of the European Council. European trade union organisations will carry out actions in their own country to bring attention to the gravity of the situation. Jobs and social justice can no longer be kept off the European agenda.
The March European Council is expected to endorse the new international agreement implementing last December's fiscal pact: with this agreement, both fiscal discipline and austerity will be anchored to the Treaties, which will certainly exert a new negative social impact at national level. Europe's leaders therefore remain in a dead-end path which will only bring us further into recession.
ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol declared: "European trade unions are mobilising to say 'enough is enough'. Austerity measures are not the only answer to the crisis. On the contrary, they cause tremendous social damage. The draft international treaty that will be on the agenda of next week's summit reinforces austerity. Its sole objective is to reduce public deficits as much as possible, regardless of the social impact.
Europe cannot continue to impose measures that do not work, that plunge countries deeper into the crisis and impoverish more and more people. For the European trade unions, this treaty must include a strong social component. Balanced budgets are necessary but austerity alone exacerbates imbalances. A policy of stimulation of the economy through investments should be the solution of choice."