Message to the Congress of Czech Social Democratic Party
“We are heading towards European elections.
And we are in the midst of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.
This crisis has proven the bankruptcy of the neo-liberal economic consensus.
Now our citizens’ hope is shifting to the forces of labour, socialist and democratic parties.
Our parties’ policies guarantee a new and progressive roadmap, an exit to the crisis.
By putting our people first!
And our message is clear: the citizens of our countries are not to blame for this economic crisis. They cannot be the ones to pay for this crisis.
Our roadmap out of this crisis guarantees:
* Transparency and accountability. These are absolutely necessary for reforming our financial system.
* Social cohesion and social services must be a first priority -this includes healthcare, investment in education and social security – over and beyond corporate bailouts.
* Stimulating employment must be a first priority, making credit to small and medium-sized companies and businesses, rather than simply insulating corporate interests
* And finally, empowering our citizens rather than empowering financial speculators
Our socialist and democratic movement has stressed the need for solidarity.
And solidarity is needed to support both the socially excluded in our societies and of course emerging economies.
As President of the Socialist International, I have called for the globalization of solidarity.
Policies that promote social justice and policy coordination throughout the world: this is the way we must face the crisis. This can be the only realistic response to the failure, the tragic failure, of global casino capitalism.
Next June, Europe must make hope a reality.
Europe can show that there is an alternative. It is the hope of a social and democratic politics.
One which places solidarity, social priorities and social policies and the real economy up front.
We have no time to lose!
We must face up to the challenge of building a new political consensus both in Europe and in the world at large.
A consensus which is built on policies which put our people first.
These coming elections must signal the political consensus in Europe.
And they will do so with a clear political mandate, a socialist and progressive majority in the European Parliament.
I wish all great success.”