Schulz tells voters that he will deliver a fairer Europe
In the last televised Presidential debate, one week before voting starts across Europe, Martin Schulz tonight pledged to build a fairer Europe. Schulz echoed the anger of voters as he spoke in Brussels about his frustrations with the conservative policy decisions of the past five years.
“My European Commission would put its citizens’ needs first. People are disappointed because the current leaders have worried more about stabilising banks than looking out for citizens. Some say there is an economic recovery because there are governments selling bonds again. I say there is no recovery until we get 26 million unemployed Europeans back to work.” said Schulz.
Schulz promised to revitalise the small business sector, the biggest job creator in Europe, with an innovative credit scheme: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. I should know, as I owned a bookshop for ten years before entering politics. They would be able to hire more young people if they didn’t have trouble accessing credit. I want to introduce a new scheme to give them lower interest rates or longer repayment terms if they hire young people.”
In response to opposition claims that the Socialist party’s ambitious investment plans will create higher debts, Schulz made clear where the money will come from for his proposals. “Tax evasion and tax fraud costs the European Union €1.5 trillion every year. I propose a genuine and effective fight against this shameful situation.”
Schulz criticised the austerity-only policies imposed in the past five years. “When you talk about fiscal discipline there is more than one side to the coin. We need to make strategic investments to stimulate the economy and help it grow. You can’t just hope that investors get confidence in you after you reduce your budgets. Europe’s citizens want another Europe. A Europe that puts their concerns first. A Europe that fights to support them with the challenges which worry them every day.” Said Schulz.
He closed the debate with a strong call for transparency and fairness. “I was once the Mayor of a small town in German. I am used to being close to the people and listening to their concerns. I want to fight to give a better life to all our European citizens, and in particular to give hope for the future to the 6 million young unemployed people.”
The debates generated a huge online buzz, and the support for Martin Schulz was clear. The #NowSchulz hashtag was being extensively used and voters across Europe were clearly in agreement with the PES vision for how to change the European Union. Schulz’s supporters expressed their support with his official hashtags almost as much as all the other candidates combined.