Euro crisis top issue of socialists, too
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CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu (C) attends the Socialist International in Cape Town. DAILY NEWS photoThe world’s leading social democratic umbrella organization has gathered in South Africa, with its leaders including Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leadar Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, calling for humane economic measures to manage the global economic crisis.
People should not pay the price of the global economic crisis, because they are not responsible for its occurring, former Greek rime minister and president of the Socialist International George Papandreou said, speaking at the opening of the congress. “We have to humanize globalism as we did for capitalism,” he said.
The 24th congress of the Socialist International (SI) has opened in Cape Town, the first such meeting to be held in Africa. The congress takes place every four years and is attended by government leaders and Socialist International member parties. This year’s theme is “For a new internationalism and a new culture of solidarity.” The African National Congress, South Africa’s governing party, is hosting the SI meeting.
Speaking on behalf of French Socialists, Segolene Royal suggested that production should be promoted rather than financial investments. “Each of governments, especially socialist ones, should create public investment banks. The mission of the left is to reverse current situation,” Royal said.
Turkey was represented by the CHP as a full member, and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) as an observer member at the congress.
‘No policy without human focus can be sustainable’
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was expected to be elected as one of the vice-presidents of SI. He was presented as “a progressive leader revitalizing and promoting social democratic values, principles and philosophy in Turkey and in its neighboring regions” in a CHP leaflet circulated in the congress hall seeking delegate support for him. The leaflet, which calls on delegates to support Kılıçdaroğlu with the slogan “Vote for Kemal,” stressed that the CHP promotes universal values of social democracy.
The CHP, under former chairman Deniz Baykal, had been accused of moving away from social democratic values and shifting to a more nationalist line, which led to calls for the CHP’s dismissal from the SI, ahead of the organization’s 2008 congress. Baykal did not attend the 2008 congress, losing a vice-president’s chair to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
Addressing the congress on its first day, Kılıçdaroğlu said the state of the world economy calls for social democrats to establish shared goals and cooperation. “We now know that neoliberal paradigms have proven hopelessly inadequate to generate solutions to our problems. This is why at the SI we are at the right address to find effective answers to our economic woes through social democratic solidarity,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. The global economy is still quite fragile although five years has passed since talk of economic crisis began to circulate, he said, adding that weak growth and high unemployment across the globe are the major bottlenecks.
“No policy without a human focus can be sustained. Therefore, drawing the necessary lessons from the crises we are experiencing, we should find the right policies that will not leave economic balances to the mercy of the financial markets’ appetite for risk. We should, through joining our wisdom and assets, design plausible policies that suit the priorities of achieving sustainable high growth rates, protecting jobs and employment and embracing the most disadvantaged in society,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.