Thursday, 21 September 2017

EU leaders turn blind eye to causes of problems

ČTK |
12 June 2017

Prague, June 11 (CTK) - The EU leaders turn the blind eye to the causes of Europe's troubles and they only offer money to smooth away the most striking consequences, sociologist Jan Keller has written in Czech daily Pravo in reaction to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker's recent visit to Prague.

Keller, a MEP (Social Democrats, CSSD) refers to Juncker's statement that the living standard of Czechs is so poor that it is beyond the imagination of people in West Europe.

Juncker indicated that the EU might earmark several hundreds of billions crowns in support of the poorest Czech regions.

However, a country that receives aid from the EU must offer something on its part, Juncker continued, having a change in Prague's unwillingness to accept a wave of migrants in mind, Keller writes.

Juncker's approach well illustrated the attitude of top EU representatives who are uninterested in real causes of troubles tormenting Europe and they only seek tackling the most palpable consequences, Keller writes.

In the past decade, a gap between the living standards of people in the former Western and the former Eastern Europe has been growing again, he continues.

Even in Western European countries, the share of the GDP that goes to employees' wages has been decreasing while the share that goes as profit to companies, mainly the big and international ones, has been growing, Keller writes.

This gap has been growing even more in the former Eastern European countries. The pace of profits switching to the accounts of the rich at the cost of employees' wages is the quickest of all in Poland, followed by Hungary, Estonia and Lithuania, Keller writes.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, no marked switch has occurred in this respect, but this is only because the Czechs and Slovaks move at the very bottom in terms of the GDP share going to employees, Keller writes.

In this category, the Czechs and Slovaks have nowhere deeper to sink, he says.

Although the big corporations and the wealthiest segment of the population have been annually appropriating still a larger and larger part of the GDP both in West and the East of Europe, they still keep eyeing tax havens and massively transferring their profits to them, Keller writes.

If this "logic" persists, the distribution of financial "presents" [by the EU leaders] will continue to cover up the core of the problem and divert attention from it, he writes.

Jean-Claude Juncker is so experienced a politician that he is undoubtedly well aware of this, Keller concludes.

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