Fight the Flood Catastrophe
with Lautenbach Plan
WIESBADEN, Aug. 16, 2002 (EIRNS)—German Chancellor candidate Helga Zepp-LaRouche spoke out on the flood damage ravaging Europe, with a statement issued yesterday from Berlin, entitled "Fight the Flood Catastrophe with the Lautenbach Plan; Put the Maastricht Treaty Out of Commission, Immediately." Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the chairman of Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität (Civil Rights Movement-Solidarity, BüSo) party, and its lead candidate for the Sept. 22 Bundestag (parliament) elections in Germany.
To repair the damages, worth billions of euros, caused by the flood of the century, especially in Bavaria and Saxony, as quickly as possible, and to help the affected families in rebuilding their homes, we must immediately launch the measure proposed by German economist Dr. Wilhelm Lautenbach in the early 1930s, for grave emergency situations, such as a depression, the period immediately following a war, and most severe natural catastrophes. The 400 million euros in aid promised so far, are at best, "peanuts," and will simply amplify the fears of the victims that like persons affected in earlier floods, that they will be left alone in their misery.
In such a catastrophe, the necessary reconstruction can only be initiated with a policy of productive credit generation, as Lautenbach proposed it in the Fall of 1931, to actively fight the world depression, a policy later successfully implemented by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the U.S.A. Even current Chancellor Schroëer had to concede, during his visit to the region, that the financial aid offered so far will be insufficient. His remarks, that the necessary means cannot be mobilized in the framework of the "Maastricht criteria," have my full support. But I call on him, urgently, to draw the correct conclusions from this recognition, and initiate, together with European partner countries, such as Italy or France, the immediate repeal of the Maastricht "stability pact."
I had rejected the stability pact from its very beginning, and have actively fought it ever since.
In the European capitals—Berlin included—people have been thinking about how to bypass the "Maastricht criteria" for quite some time. The Italian government just decided to officially put up for discussion the guidelines of the "stability pact"; Italy's Minister for Finances and Economics Giulio Tremonti, and some of his colleagues in the Cabinet have been demanding, in recent days, to change the "direction" of this pact, and, above all, to take the urgently required infrastructure investments out of this straitjacket for Europe's economy—and its citizens.
Of course, the suspension of the Maastricht Treaty, as well as the possible mobilization of the Frankfurt Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in issuing project-related credits for the creation of productive jobs, can only be a first step. After all, the entire world economy is in the end-phase of a systemic crisis, which can only be overcome, if the hopelessly bankrupt financial system—including the Maastricht "stability pact"—is thoroughly reformed and replaced by a New Bretton Woods.
The small-minded approach for overcoming the flood catastrophe shows again, that bold new ideas are needed in German politics. "I know what has to be done!"