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EU Needs New Marshall Plan Says German Social Democrat Gabriel

Europe needs a new Marshall Plan to help economic “reconstruction” in debt-crisis battered states just as the original plan helped rebuild the continent after World War II, German Social Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel said.

The aid would be funded by revenue from a financial-transaction tax and banks, including the European Investment Bank, and could run for as many as 30 years to pay for job-creation programs, Gabriel, the chairman of Germany’s main opposition party, said in a Guardian newspaper guest column.

The plan would be an “immediate response to the challenges of the crisis and counterbalance the current austerity policy,” the Guardian cited him as saying. Following the model of former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall’s recovery program, a new European economic-recovery plan would fuel “growth and jobs.”

Gabriel said he’s at odds with “one-sided” austerity measures to curb the debt crisis. The root cause of Europe’s economic misery “does not lie with profligate governments,” said Gabriel. Rather, it’s due to “excessive speculation and the resulting crash that forced many states to go massively into debt to bail out their banks.”

On March 22, Gabriel’s SPD presented its campaign manifesto to challenge the ruling Christian Democrats and Free Democrats in September federal elections. The 102-page program endorses tax increases and the introduction of a national minimum wage.

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