Austrian chancellor calls for end to EU austerity

Just three days after the Euro-Med Athens declaration, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has called for a fundamental change of direction in European economic policy .

To restore Europe to a ” Continent of Hope”  the public investment in the EU should be greatly increased  Kern wrote in an article for the Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung

The EU commission’s plans to invest 315 billion euro is not enough to stimulate growth and employment.

 “Even the doubling of resources will probably not be enough.” Kern argued in his article.

Mr Kern said austerity has caused severe damage over the past few years “because many people in Europe suffered for a prolonged period under this policy, as has their belief in the promise of prosperity of European integration”.

The Social Democrat said this was causing an increase in anti-European sentiment across the bloc.

Mr Kern added: “The EU was primarily seen as a promoter of an unfair modernisation by its citizens but it isn’t meeting its mission to protect them from the distortions of a globalised economy”.

“Neo-liberal apologists and conservative politicians try to interpret the financial and economic crisis into a crisis of the European welfare state.”

He said this interpretation leads to uncertainty and opens the Brussels club up to populist slogans.

The Austrian government joined a growing number of EU members calling to halt negotiations between the EU and the US on the controversial  TTIP  free trade deal.