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Party of European Socialists' Newsletter

24 June 2010

Hot topic HOT TOPIC
George Papandreou, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

PES President Rasmussen travels to US and Canada in concerted push for ‘concrete measures’ on financial transaction tax ahead of G20 summit

PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen is on a week-long visit to US and Canada ahead of the G20 Summit to push for concrete measures on a world Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). The PES has long called for an FTT to curb the excesses of speculators and to help stabilize financial markets. Mr Rasmussen met IMF President Dominique Strauss Kahn in New York and called for a concerted action by EU countries participating in the G20 in favour of a FTT, as decided by EU leaders last week. During last week’s EU Council, conservative leaders agreed on further developing an FTT; however the ‘moment of truth’ is yet to come as Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy risk forgetting their vow during the G20 meeting. “Unfortunately recent history shows that another u-turn from Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy is not an unlikely event.” the PES President said.

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Economy
PES leaders call on European Council to ‘Get Europe Working Again’
PES Family Picture, 16 June 2010

The Conservative majority of the EU, decided last week in the European Council to keep running their austerity-only way out of the crisis. The PES opposition to this policy found fresh allies in the European business community and the US Administration, who fear Merkel’s recessionary vision could strangle the way to recovery. Against such a conservative approach, the PES calls for a European Debt Agency to be 'seriously explored') by the EU. The mechanism is based on the simple principle that this agency would buy national debt in the form of bonds and then sell them as Euro-bonds on the financial markets.


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Social Europe
Conservative Majority European Council wrong-headed ‘austerity only’ approach
Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel

The EU2020 strategy – the EU action guidelines for the next ten years – was adopted last week by the EU Council. Trade unions, business representatives and a vast majority of the European Parliament have already joined their voices to the criticisms by the PES: “This strategy should have been about concrete plans for economic co-ordination that rediscovers European solidarity. Instead we have the macho politics of punishment. The Europe 2020 Strategy risks leaving one rather important element behind – its people”, PES President stated.

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Environment
PES says European carbon tax should not be postponed any further as European Commission meets to launch discussion on energy taxation

After years of debate and despite advancing climate change, a tax on carbon emissions has yet to be introduced in Europe. “It is high time that we put a price on carbon emissions”, stated Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

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World
Spanish Presidency has made "invaluable progress" on Millennium Development Goals but Financial Transaction Tax essential

EU Development Ministers met today in Luxembourg to agree an EU position on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In September a UN High Level Meeting in New York called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will assess and boost progress. The Spanish Presidency and the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton have been highly committed to a strong EU position and have worked jointly towards this outcome.

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EDITORIAL

It feels good to be setting the agenda rather than following

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES President

The G20 summit is the priority this week. However it is unclear whether we will see any real progress in Toronto. However what is clear is that the G20 order of business reflects the ability of the PES to influence the political agenda. The fact that the issue of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) is on the table is due to the persistence of PES leaders, and activists, working together to make sure that the idea of an FTT did not go away.

I hope you enjoy Red Alert, the new format for our newsletter. It is part of our continual drive to keep you informed of PES developments.

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News from PES members

Elio Di Rupo and Poul Nyrup Rasmussen call for a consensual approach to form a stable Government in Belgium

Socialists biggest political force in Belgium after elections

PS France gives full support to PES crisis recovery plan

 
Forthcoming events

25 June - Modernizing politics network

5-10 July - Young political leaders delegation to China

9 July - PS Italy Congress


 
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PES Women

Tandis que les vuvuzelas assourdissent les supporters enthousiastes, la Coupe du Monde ne détourne pas l'attention des organisations de femmes sur les thèmes de traite des êtres humains

La Coupe du Monde de football bat son plein en Afrique du Sud, au son des vuvuzelas à chaque coin de rue. Les supporters se rassemblent pour suivre les matchs de leurs équipes favorites partout dans le monde et mêmes ceux que le football n'intéressent pas tant remarquent un changement dans l'air et discutent des joueurs et des matchs entre amis et collègues. Toutefois, comme pour toutes les autres Coupes du Monde, tout cet enthousiasme cache un aspect nettement moins reluisant, liés à des faits terribles.

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FTT - Stephen Harper

Let's make the bankers pay for their mess - join the Twitter storm and send your message to the G20

In response to the current crisis, governments around the world have stabilized their economies with taxpayers’ money. Now, the financial sector should pick up the bill! A global financial transaction tax of only 0.05% could yield revenue of about 1% of world GDP per year. Progressive forces have been advocating the creation of a global financial transaction tax for decades. At the European summit of June 17, EU leaders have put the transaction tax back on G20 agenda. The next G20 summit will take place in Toronto on June 26-27. Let’s remind them: we want a global financial transaction tax!


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Carl Bildt

European Socialists say Bildt ‘should not risk tainting Sweden’s reputation abroad’

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is in a delicate position as the company Lundin Oil on which he was a board member between 2000-2006 is under investigation. Lundin Oil is suspected of complicity in Sudanese Security Forces human rights abuses. Until the role of Lundin Oil and the level of awareness of Mr Bildt in the matter are clear, “it is only right that Mr. Bildt withdraw from his role as Sweden’s official face abroad”, according to the PES President.

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Economy
Romanian protestors gather outside parliament headquarters in Bucharest

‘Cuts in budget and in civil liberties are not the way forward for Romania’

“Romania is in a state of social and economic crisis”, said Party of European Socialists (PES) President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in advance of the PES Leaders on the eve of tomorrows European summit. He continued: “In recent weeks we have witnessed a serious assault on Romania’s social welfare and democratic systems. After loading the entire burden of the crisis on to the shoulders of state employees, children and pensioners, Mr. Basescu, the Romanian President, now seems set on curtailing civil liberties, including the legitimate right to protest. Romania deserves better”.

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