Austerity Policy Reforms have Partly been Illegal, Says German Think Tank

September 17th, 2015
in Op Ed

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

The Hugo-Sinzheimer Institut, which belongs to the unions-affiliated Otto-Brenner Stiftung, finds that reforms in euro zone countries have partly been illegal because they infringe against Article 28 of the European Charta of Fundamental Rights,

Follow up:

which reads:

Right of collective bargaining and action

Workers and employers, or their respective organisations, have, in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices, the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements at the appropriate levels and, in cases of conflicts of interest, to take collective action to defend their interests, including strike action.

The study has 148 pages and can be downloaded here. The European Charta of Fundamental Rights has some more articles which seem to collide with the reforms. The strongest claims can be based on Article 15:

Freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work

1. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.

2. Every citizen of the Union has the freedom to seek employment, to work, to exercise the right of establishment and to provide services in any Member State.

3. Nationals of third countries who are authorised to work in the territories of the Member States are entitled to working conditions equivalent to those of citizens of the Union.

Will Europe have to roll back the "reforms" that were imposed by the troika, because they were not reforms but instead intended to increase profits by harming workers? Will Greece be able to seek damages imposed by these policies?

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