Marisa Matias: suspension of structural funds for Portugal and Spain would be “sabotage”
The European Commission’s proposal to suspend the structural and investment funds for Portugal and Spain was debated this week in the European Parliament, in a joint meeting of parliamentary committees of Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Regional Development (REGI) and the with the presence of European commissioners Jyrki Katainen and Corina Crețu in representation of the European Commission.
Marisa Matias, Portuguese MEP and Vice-President of the Party of the European Left, accused the European Commission of an act of sabotage by trying to “deliberately keep the countries in question in a situation of permanent fragility, enabling the Commission to continue to impose the choices that democracy rejected in these countries, particularly in Portugal”.
According to Spanish MEP Ángela Vallina (IU), the “suspension is against the rules as it doesn't comply with the European Structural and Investment Funds’ regulation that requires equal treatment between member states”.
Following this meeting, the coordinators of all political groups in the ECON and REGI committees draft a proposal to invite the Portuguese and Spanish governments to come to the European Parliament until the end of October to speak on the consequences of these cuts in their respective countries. This draft was later approved by Martin Schulz (EP President) and the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.
For Marisa Matias, sanctioning these two of the most punished countries in the EU would be “abuse of power and is subjecting the people of Spain and Portugal to austerity against their will - just in case they dare to decide on their own destiny”.