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Chomsky attacks austerity and says taxpayers bailing out 'criminals'

VETERAN political activist Noam Chomsky has attacked European austerity measures and said taxpayers had taken on the burden of bailing out "criminals".

Speaking in Dublin, he warned that to impose austerity in a recession was going to be disastrous and would slow growth.

"The whole point of austerity, "is to erode social fabric. It's hard to have any justification for it," he said during a lecture at the RDS.

"What Europe needs is something to stimulate the economy. The consumers cannot provide much demand because they are paying for debt from the crises created by the banks with government support."

In a reference to Ireland, he said the policy here was to "bail out the criminals and let the taxpayers take the burden".

Only recently, Prof Chomsky warned that the EU's response to the economic crisis had left European democracy in a worse condition than that of the US.

Prof Chomsky was giving the inaugural Front Line Defenders annual lecture held in partnership with UCD and TCD.

An ardent critic of US foreign policy, Prof Chomsky returned to his favourite theme with an address on human-rights violations and atrocities that ranged from the destruction of the American native Indian to Colombia, Serbia, Turkey and the Middle East.

Irish Independent