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Jeremy Corbyn backs ‘a social Europe for everybody’ and consults DiEM25 Movement’s Varoufakis

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Corbyn: Labour leader backs ‘a social Europe for everybody.

This is really really good news!

 26 February, 2016 KOOS COUVÉE. Islington Tribune.

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed claims he is a Eurosceptic at heart, making the case for a “social Europe”.

Speaking exclusively to the Tribune, the Islington North MP acknowledged his historically lukewarm personal feelings towards the European Union, but said: “Labour Party policy is to try and get the best deal out of Europe for this country and a social Europe for everybody.”

However, Mr Corbyn expressed concern about the EU’s “democratic def­icit”, the economic strategy of the European Central Bank (ECB) and its power over austerity-stricken countries like Greece.

The Labour leader spoke before Prime Minister David Cameron  announced his renegotiation deal in Brussels on Friday, which included restrictions on in-work benefits for EU migrants and protection for the City of London from regulations that could put British-based banks at a disadvantage.

Dismissing Mr Cam­eron’s renegotiation as “a lot of smoke and mirrors”, Mr Corbyn said: “The real issue David Cameron is concerned about is a dispute within the Conservative Party.

“It’s essentially a lot of smoke and mirrors which hasn’t actually achieved a great deal. And on the question of temporarily curtailing in-work benefits, I think there’s an equality issue about that. I believe if people are in work they should be getting the same conditions.”

The central point is this:

“Labour would instead be making the case for a “social Europe”, Mr Corbyn said.

“The case I’ve put forward is one for workers’ rights, and for Britain and Europe being more similar, because British workers have far lower levels of rights at work.

“Secondly, I would want to challenge the Fourth Railway package [opening up rail services to private companies] over the privatisation issue. I’m concerned with the way in which the railways are run in Europe and I believe they should be publicly owned.”

He added: “The other point is the right of countries to keep or take into public ownership certain services, and the question of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [a proposed trade agreement between the EU and the US], which is not part of the renegotiations.”

“Most trade unions in Britain, but not all, want to remain in the EU from the point of view of trade and the jobs that go with it, and that’s the view of the party which I’m putting forward.”

The story continues,

Three weeks ago, Mr Corbyn met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, leader of the leftist party Syriza, to discuss EU reform and the European anti-austerity movement.

Asked how close he is to Mr Tsipras politically, the Labour leader said: “We both want to see an economic strategy around anti-austerity, and we’re both very concerned about the activities and power of the European Central Bank, although Britain is not in the Eurozone and isn’t likely to be.”

Mr Corbyn also revealed that Yanis Varoufakis, the former Syriza MP and Greek finance minister who resigned during the negotiation on an EU bailout package for the debt-stricken country last year, has met Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and will advise Labour in “some capacity”.

Mr Corbyn said: “Varoufakis is interesting, because he has obviously been through all the negotiations [with ECB, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund].

“I think the way Greece has been treated is terrible and we should reach out to them.

“I realise we’re not in the Eurozone but it’s a question of understanding how we challenge the notion that you can cut your way to prosperity when in reality you have to grow your way to prosperity.

“So all of our emphasis and work and campaigning is about an expanding economy and investing in an expanding economy.”

CNBC   adds,

The leader of the U.K.’s left-wing Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, revealed to his local London paper that Varoufakis had met with shadow chancellor John McDonnell and would advise the party “in some capacity.”

Varoufakis’ view on the referendum:

Yanis Varoufakis: “The UK should stay in the EU to fight tooth and nail against the EU’s anti-democratic institutions”

Comrade Varoufakis has also just answered the anti-EU UK left on the issue of Greece: Is Greece not another compelling reason to vote for Brexit on 23rd June?

Last July the European Union completed a brutal coup d’état against the freshly elected Greek government, imposing upon it another huge, unsustainable ‘bailout’ loan that would, with mathematical precision, prolong Greece’s six-year-long Great Depression.

If there was ever any doubt that the EU’s institutions are deeply contemptuous of democratic process, and unabashed about their readiness to ride roughshod over rationality and over the will of a sovereign European people, the events of July 2015 dispelled it.

In this light, it is natural and right to ask two questions in the run up to the 23rd June UK referendum:

  • Was the treatment of Greece last summer not another piece of decisive evidence that the EU is governed in an authoritarian, irrational and anti-democratic manner?
  • Should voters across the UK (especially after the way Greece was treated last summer) not vote in favour of LEAVE as an important step in reclaiming their Parliament’s sovereignty and their democracy?

My answer to the first question is a decisive YES and to the second an unequivocal NO!

Those of us who detest the EU’s way of doing things have a moral and political duty to (a) jettison the illusion that Brexit will have positive consequences and (b) stick together (across national borders) to fight shoulder-to-shoulder in order to democratise the EU through an almighty confrontation with its current, inane, authoritarian rulers.

 

For a different spin on the last part of the story….

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is advising the Labour party on the economy, Jeremy Corbyn has revealed.

The controversial ex-minister, who was forced to resign after his country plunged into a debt crisis, has met with shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the Labour party leader said.

The news came as Paul Mason, the former Channel 4 journalist and strident anti-austerity campaigner, announced he has joined Labour’s economic lecture tour.

The journalist and film-maker revealed his departure from the state broadcaster as part of a plan to “work for a while outside the impartiality framework” dictated by the channel.

In an interview in the Islington Tribune newspaper Mr Corbyn spoke of being interested in Mr Varoufakis because of his experience in Europe.

He said: “I think the way Greece has been treated is terrible and we should reach out to them.

Reports the Telegraph.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 29, 2016 at 2:31 pm

One Response

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  1. Andrew Coates

    February 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm


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