I read a well articulated article on the always interesting and useful Social Europe Journal which I would recommend to anyone with an interest in a very broad range of contributions from across Europe to social and economic questions. It was
A Concept For Deepening The Social Dimension Of the European Union
14/08/2013 BY FRANK BSIRSKE AND KLAUS BUSCH
The authors are president and chief economic policy intellectual of the German trade union Verdi. (see footnote below)
I sent this comment to the article which can be found at http://www.social-europe.eu/2013/08/a-concept-for-deepening-the-social-dimension-of-the-european-union/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+social-europe%2FwmyH+%28Social+Europe+Journal%29
Please can we have a definition and/or examples of ‘ruinous wage competition and wage dumping’. I write from Greece where wages have been cut because of German insistence (as much as SPD as CDU) that the Greeks who bought billions of German goods and services (Siemens, Mercedes, arms etc) up to 2008 should now be punished because German banks gave them as much money as possible without any control. Now that Greek wages (especially in the Verdi sector of the economy€) are cut to comply with German ortholiberalism it may be that more firms will invest in Greece and certainly more holidaymakers are coming in here. Is this the result of wage dumping? Should the EU oblige all Greeks to be paid at German levels? Should all Verdi type employees be reinstated, their wages and pensions restored? If Greece cannot meet these demands will the nation be further sanctioned as the paper above seems to suggest?
These are not polemical debating points but a worry that again we have ideas that make sense from a Verdi perspective in today’s Germany (maybe not the German of 1990s unification?) but just read oddly when you are in another country. What we need a genuine, modest, implementable European wide proposals that make sense in more than one country. Beirske and Busch are to be congratulated on a proposal for better measurement and new indices to determine policy. The old concepts of hourly pay or weekly working time were simple to grasp but lead to dead-ends. But if I showed this paper to Greek social democratic and trade union friends they would just scratch their heads.