Why Pierre Larrouturou, French MEP, is on hunger strike

AFP

Why Pierre Larrouturou, French MEP, is on hunger strike (photo of October 28, 2020)

POLICY – French MEP Pierre Larrouturou started a “hunger strike” in Brussels on Wednesday 28 October to “alert citizens” to cuts to the EU budget in the areas of climate and health and to obtain a ambitious tax on financial transactions.

“I will stay in Parliament day and night without eating, to denounce this scandal: people are not aware of it, but we are heading towards a situation where there will be almost no money for the climate, health, nothing serious for employment ”in the next European budget, the Socialist MEP, elected since 2019, told AFP.

“The only solution is to increase the EU’s own resources with a ‘real’ financial transaction tax (FTT), which would allow the recovery plan to be reimbursed, while financing health and the climate” , insists Larrouturou (56 years old), member of the “Socialists & Democrats” group and rapporteur for the 2021 budget.

European leaders approved in July a post-Covid recovery plan of 750 billion euros, financed by the loan and backed by a European budget of 1074 billion euros for 2021-2027.

Tobin tax

However, MEPs, whose approval is essential, are demanding an additional 39 billion for several programs, from education to research, slashed in the States’ proposal. Blocking them could delay the recovery plan.

In a vote in committee in mid-October, MEPs called for new sources of income, including an FTT (commonly known as the “Tobin tax”), which is technically ready and which would bring in up to 57 billion euros per year.

“If we do not tax speculation, the European ‘Green Pact’ is dead (…) the fine words on the climate law, and the creation of green jobs, all this will remain a dead letter, and lead us towards a planet dead ”, explained Pierre Larrouturou in a speech in Parliament where he announced his hunger strike.

“We are heading for social, climatic and health chaos. Everything will be played out in the next fortnight, he alarmed to AFP, calling on Paris to “clarify its position”. France and Germany are certainly proposing a European FTT, but on a much smaller basis than a 2011 Commission project, in order to avoid a massive flight of financial flows outside the EU.

Conversely, Austria calls for taxing all types of financial instruments (stocks, derivatives, bonds), accusing last January the Franco-German proposal to save “approximately 99% of transactions”.

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Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.

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