Unsustainable life with sustainable debts? No thanks!

20 February 2014 by Greek Debt Audit Campaign

Announcement by the Greek Debt Audit campaign

The utter failure of political management of public debt by the governments of George Papandreou up to the current one of Samaras in agreement with the lenders has led to a reinvigorated debate about what next on the public debt issue. The failure is confirmed by the explosion of public debt since the ‘rescue’ began, both in relative terms (from 129% to 175% of GDP) and as an absolute size (from 299 to 321 billion). The failure is also proven through the extent of the social crisis with the rapidly increasing unemployment, poverty, immigration and brutal police repression.

In this context, the cancellation of most or even all of Greek sovereign debt Sovereign debt Government debts or debts guaranteed by the government. is raised as a pre-requisite in order to actually rescue the people and the country’s future. It is a goal that was set and widely embraced by the social movements against austerity and the Memoranda. Massive debt cancellation is also a pre-requisite to not live a life of debt slavery.

The Greek Debt Audit Campaign from its establishment in March 2011, was committed to this goal, by mobilizing the workers affected by the crisis, raising awareness and gathering information from international expertise and experience on know-how of debt audits and cancellations.

The alteration of the public debt profile to one where more than two-thirds are now owed to the Troika Troika Troika: IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank, which together impose austerity measures through the conditions tied to loans to countries in difficulty.

rather than to private bondholders greatly facilitates implementing a unilateral decision to cancel this part of the debt, without the consultation with the lenders. Next, the bondholder debt, which according to the most recent data (30 September 2013, Explanatory Report of the state budget for 2014) represents 23.7%, can also be cancelled. A number of constitutionalists, economists and historians have pointed out with credibility and proficiency, the odious, unconstitutional and incompatible with the international law character of Greek debt, and thus offer necessary documentation.

The January 21 statement of Syriza MP Mr. G. Stathakis which defined odious debt at only 5% by restricting it to cases of extreme corruption, are groundless on the basis of the aforementioned documentation on the illegitimacy of Greek debt. Additionally, such a statement does not contribute to the necessary struggle for debt cancellation. To the contrary, it invalidates in advance the mass effort of delegitimization of public debt, which is the first step of a grassroots demand for cancellation. Instead, the need to open the black box of Greek debt and the creation of an independent audit commission with representatives from social movements, trade unions, economists and others is greater than ever. We still need to finally expose and learn the truth about how we reached the Greek and European over-indebtedness, and what the roles of foreign and domestic banks, of governments, of the European Commission, the ECB ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is a European institution based in Frankfurt, founded in 1998, to which the countries of the Eurozone have transferred their monetary powers. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone. Its three decision-making organs (the Executive Board, the Governing Council and the General Council) are composed of governors of the central banks of the member states and/or recognized specialists. According to its statutes, it is politically ‘independent’ but it is directly influenced by the world of finance.
, the IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
and other European institutions have been.

When a country is suffering an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with hospitals and schools being shut down, a record high unemployment rate and access to elementary healthcare lacking to a large portion of the populace, the repayment of debt should not take priority over the saving of resources needed for this basic functioning of society. This is also acknowledged by relevant declarations of the United Nations.

The Greek Debt Audit Campaign calls the people to fight against the debt, the Troika and their governments. Only the people΄s struggle can ensure the overthrow of the debtocracy regime!



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