This is unprecedented: to alert the public on the cuts that are likely to suffer budgets that he considers crucial, the French MEP Pierre Larrouturou announced, Wednesday, October 28, that he was starting a hunger strike in Brussels, in the premises of the European Parliament.
“Day and night without eating to denounce a scandal: almost more money for health and the climate, not enough for jobs! “, explains the MEP, founder of the Nouvelle Donne party, elected for a first term in 2019, member of the Socialists and Democrats group and, above all, budget rapporteur for Parliament.
“Social, economic and health chaos”
An indefatigable debater with his brain perpetually in turmoil, the deputy had walked for weeks the corridors of all the institutions with his many files under his arm. Its goal: to alert on the battle that the Parliament is waging against the Member States (the Council) to obtain more money for the 2021-2027 budget of the European Union (EU). This famous “multiannual financial framework”, which had mobilized European leaders for four days in July and saw a painful compromise emerge in the end, with a budget of 1,074 billion euros and a stimulus fund of 750 billion. All accompanied by cuts to the just transition fund, health, research, or the Erasmus + program.
The European Parliament calls for 39 billion more and a clear decision on the own resources – sources of direct financing of the budget – that the EU could release. Pierre Larrouturou is loudly calling for the introduction of the famous tax on financial transactions (TTF, or Tobin tax), with the spectrum still indefinite, but which would, according to him, allow the recovery plan to be reimbursed while financing health and an ambitious climate policy. Its annual amount could reach 57 billion euros.
“If we do not tax speculation, the European Green Pact is dead”, he said, referring therefore to the risk of “Dead planet” lack of political courage. His hunger strike aims above all to underline the importance of the next two weeks, during which the negotiations will either go towards an agreement, or according to him. “Towards social, climatic and health chaos”.
The MEP calls on the French government in particular to clarify a position that he considers ambiguous: Paris and Berlin are proposing a European FTT, but on a smaller scale than what the Commission suggested in 2011. Mr Larrouturou, relying in particular on an opinion from Austria, considers that“Approximately 99% of transactions” would thus escape taxation.
In 48 hours, nearly two million people have subscribed to the Facebook page on which the hunger striker will debate these issues.