[P2P-F] Fwd: [+M] Fwd: [EUinCrisis] Council of Europe research shows austerity stripping away human rights

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Thu Dec 5 21:09:29 CET 2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dante-Gabryell Monson <dante.monson at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Subject: Fwd: [+M] Fwd: [EUinCrisis] Council of Europe research shows
austerity stripping away human rights
To: "econowmix at googlegroups.com" <econowmix at googlegroups.com>

found via Dustin...

---------- Doorgestuurde bericht ----------
Van: *Pascoe S*
Datum: woensdag 4 december 2013
Onderwerp: [EUinCrisis] Council of Europe research shows austerity
stripping away human rights
Aan: euincrisis at lists.corporateeurope.org

 Report from the Council of Europe, reported in the EU Observer in
Brussels: http://euobserver.com/justice/122338
Austerity stripping away Europe's human rights, watchdog says By Nikolaj
Nielsen <http://euobserver.com/search/author/238>

BRUSSELS - Austerity measures imposed by international creditors on member
states are eroding the social and economic rights of people, says human
rights watchdog, the Council of Europe.

“The crisis is both a context and a constraint on government policy but
some responses to the crisis have created much collateral damage to human
rights,” Nils Muiznieks, the commissioner for human rights at the
Strasbourg-based watchdog, told reporters on Tuesday (3 December).

Muiznieks, who presented a report on safeguarding human rights in times of
economic crisis, said cuts in public expenditure and selective tax hikes
aimed a curbing public deficits have not achieved their stated aims.

Instead, the rights to decent work and adequate standards of living have
rolled back, contributing to deepening poverty in Europe.

The report notes civil and political rights have also eroded as some
governments exclude people on having any say in austerity proposals,
provoking large-scale demonstrations.
 Spain’s new €600,000 fine for civil disobedience

The latest twist came over the weekend when Spain backed a draft law on
public order that cracks down on civil disobedience.

The revised draft, if ratified, means Spaniards can be fined up to €30,000
for insulting a government official, burning a flag, or protesting outside
the parliament without a permit.

Covering faces or wearing hoods at demonstrations is also an offence.

Judges would also be able to impose fines of up to €600,000 for picketing
at nuclear plants, airports, or if demonstrators interfere with elections.

“This new report of a draft law extending the scope and severity of
sanctions against peaceful demonstrators is of serious concern,” said

“When I see a potential fine of up to €600,000, I’d like for someone to
convince me that that is a proportionate penalty,” he added.

Muiznieks said the proposed measures, tabled last month by Spain’s interior
minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, run counter to the freedom of assembly.

“If you don’t let people have their say before, they’ll have their say
afterwards in the streets,” he pointed out.

The Council of Europe in a report in October slammed the Spanish security
troops for their disproportionate use of force against anti-austerity

Undercover police officers at the demonstrations are not held accountable
for their actions, it says.

The European Commission says it is unable to comment on Spain’s new draft
law because it is a national issue.

“Member states are themselves responsible for the maintenance of law and
order and the safeguarding of internal security on their territory,” said
Mina Andreeva, the commission’s spokesperson on justice affairs, in an

She noted that the commission’s powers regarding acts and omissions by
member states are limited to overseeing the application of European Union

But Muiznieks’ says human rights norms have to be respected in economic
decision-making, including in national and international responses to the

The report says most national deficits did not result in unsustainable
public expenditure from before the crisis but from the public rescue of
financial markets.

The rescue cost an estimated €4.5 trillion between 2008-11. The economic
downturn and historic unemployment rates means the worst affected member
states lost out on vital tax revenue streams.

The worst affected are children, young people, the disabled, the elderly
with low pensions, and many women.

“Human rights are not expendable in times of economic hardship but are
essential if we want to have a sustained and an inclusive recovery,” said

   1. Spain's draft law on public order (in

Pascoe S
Researcher and Campaigner

Corporate Europe Observatory
Mundo B
Rue d'Edimbourg 26
Brussels 1050
Tel: +32 (0) 2 893 0930
Mob: +32 (0) 4 86 85 74 16


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