Zusammen mit Laura Slimani als Präsidentin unserer französischen Partnerorganisation MJS France habe ich heute einen Appell an Sigmar Gabriel und François Hollande verfasst:
You have a great opportunity to change Europe: take it.
Contrary to some French and Germans before us, we were not born enemies but sisters thanks to the European project. But both of us know this if this project does not involve solidarity it can turn back into fierce competition and dislocation.
This is why we want to address our party leaders and ministers: your historic responsibility is to guarantee the respect of the democratic willingness of the Greek people, which is not directed against the Euro but against austerity policy. Many things go wrong about our common currency. But it is a sign we belong to the same project, the same idea. Forcing a sovereign state out of its own currency would be a denial of democracy. But it would also and more importantly be the beginning of a spiral of dislocation.
We sometimes have the feeling we blind ourselves: the greek debt will not be fully reimbursed and this is where the main disagreement lies. Should the Greek people fully reimburse its debt, no matter what?
No matter what is not an option. It matters that in three years time the number of people below the poverty line in Greece has doubled. It matters that half the youth of a country cannot find a job. It matters that since 2012 the AIDS virus is out breaking in a European country.
This is not a technical decision. This decision involves lives, families, hopes and fears
This decision involves people, and it will not be made in the board of a financial institution by unelected people. This decision is yours and only yours. If tomorrow France and Germany decide the deal should involve restructuring of the Greek debt, it will be in the deal.
Some generations in Europe have made history. Jean Monnet, Adenauer, Schuman, Spinelli, and many others, managed to overcome huge differences for something bigger. You have the possibility to be the generation of leaders, from the left this time, who will make a difference in history, and take the European project where it should always have been headed to: solidarity.
It is more than time to address social dumping with a common minimum wage in Europe. It is more than time to implement a financial transaction tax. It is more than time to set up a real fiscal union. It is more than time to impulse a new deal to create sustainable growth and millions of jobs.
In times when more and more young people turn away from European institutions, the role of socialists and social-democrats is to show there is another way. Another way for the EU institutions to work democratically, not above but with the people. We urge you to be the franco-german engine capable to see the bigger picture. We urge you to lead Europe towards a Europe of solidarity!
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