I would like to congratulate the Rapporteur for his honesty, as he points out, the EU institutions are responsible for the conditions of the economic adjustment programmes that are bringing hardship and despair to so many people.
The EU was ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deal with the sovereign debt crisis. It is young people who are suffering the highest levels of unemployment, there is a decline in job quality and the deterioration of basic labour standards.
It’s not just Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus, those who have seen their countries fall under the control of the Troika, that have been affected. My constituency, the West Midlands, has always been an industrial powerhouse. A centre of innovation and manufacturing excellence. The Eurozone crisis and burdensome red tape and relocation of traditional industry to EU member states has left us in a situation where unemployment currently stands at 8.1% which is above the UK national average. Some 220,000 people are unemployed in the region.
To you, that may be just a statistic, but to 220,000 of my constituents and their families, people with a traditionally strong work ethic, it is a tragedy. It is frustration. It is a shame. It is young people leaving education and seeing no career. No prospects, no future.
The troika is addressing the symptoms of the crisis, but we need to look at not the symptoms but at the cause. The Eurozone is bringing us all down.
The good news is that through hard work and inward investment, the number of people unemployed in the West Midlands is falling but perhaps the biggest boost to our economy will be following a referendum, we will free ourselves from the economic basketcase that the EU is becoming.