Austrian Opposition: Stop ESM, Go for Glass-Steagall Instead!
June 22, 2012 • 10:47AM

Emerging from a foul, pragmatist's compromise between Austria's Socialists (SPOE), Conservatives (OEVP), and Greens, the following timetable was arranged for the vote on Fiscal Pact and ESM: on June 28, the constitutional committee will hold a special hearing with experts, and on July 2, this committee and the one on budgeting will meet to clear the way for the plenary session of the Parliament in the days after, most likely between July 6 and 8. Apart from a handful of opponents in these three parties, which together secure a two-thirds majority in the parliament, the ESM is contested by the two opposition parties FPOE and BZOE.

For the socialist opposition to the ESM, Dr. Matthias B. Lauer of the Action Committee for Christianity and Social Democracy (ACUS) denounced the planned vote and called on Parliament members, especially those of his own party, to reject the bailout fund as "unacceptable" and "inevitably leading to a worsening of the crisis. The ESM is a bottomless barrel, a tool to continue pumping financial resources of astronomic dimensions into a bankrupt and corrupt financial system and do so largely outside of any democratic or legal control," Lauer said in his statement.

Contrary to the bailouts, Lauer added, "the cancellation of unrepayable debt is the best way to deal with an economic crisis," and "the most important immediate step for an exit from the crisis must be a real, separated banking system, which protects from continued financial speculation and frees resources for productive investments, especially also in the social, education and health sectors."