The quartet representing the lenders (International Monetary Fund, Central European Bank, European Stability Mechanism and European Commission) have imposed a new barrage of counter-reforms on Greece, a prerequisite for disbursement of a tranche of loans provided in the “rescue package” of 86 thousand million euros, guaranteed in July 2015. Demands are for: an additional package of structural reforms to the tax system (taxes on earnings above 5000 - 6000 euros p.a.), of the pension system (new cuts!) and DEregulation of the labour market. The teams of experts from this quartet, assigned with assessing and validating the measures proposed by the Syriza government through the so-called “programme review” mechanism, are now in Athens.
It’s time to put an end to this despicable exercise!
The Alter Summit assembly on 18 February appealed to everyone to continue and step up their solidarity with Greece, as well as strengthening alliances to fight austerity and neoliberal Europe.
– Let us unite against the blackmail over debts, debts, in part illegitimate, as the work by the Greek parliament’s commission demonstrated in 2015; let us again demand and keep demanding cancellation of the 3rd Memorandum and cancellation of a substantial part of Greek public debt (cf. our manifesto);
Let us support the campaign for the right to work http://mayday.gr/pour-inverser-le-coup-accords-collectifs-maintenant/ *;
Let us support the campaigns against privatisation, such as the privatisation of water: https://you.wemove.eu/campaigns/stop-water-privatization (text in several languages)
Let us support movements by and for refugees that condemn the situation of refugees in Greece as well as the policies of European states and institutions, which, with the Dublin agreement, are transferring the burden of accepting refugees to a country that they otherwise have in a stranglehold.
Let us maintain material solidarity with the Greek people (health care clinics etc.);
Let us call on our respective governments, which are jointly responsible for this policy of austerity imposed on Greece.
Two visions of Europe clash with each other in Greece: ours, that of democracy and solidarity, a Europe of different peoples, without borders. And theirs: that of denying social and climate justice, trampling on democracy, attacking protection of the most vulnerable and opposing taxes for the wealthy.
Alter Summit endeavours to build a European front against austerity and in support of democracy and rights for all! (cf. the outcome of February’s meeting)
We suggest some dates for action and meetings:
action weeks in March in solidarity with refugees
organizing demonstrations on 1st May
days of action and encounters during the G20 in Hamburg from 5-8 July 2017
attending the European Summer University for Social Movements in Toulouse from 23-27 August 2017, https://www.esu2017.org/
We will be publishing analyses and actions on the Alter Summit website in order to increase much needed common policies.
For Alter Summit: Daniel Rallet, Marie-Dominique Vernhes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
* you can use the report http://www.europa-neu-begruenden.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ExpertGroupGreeceSummary.pdf (full text: http://www.ypakp.gr/uploads/docs/9946.pdf )
Manifesto of Alter Summit, June 2013
End debt slavery
Public debt stems from economic and political choices still on the agenda of EU institutions and European governments. Decades of regressive tax policies have consciously and outrageously enriched a small minority whereas public revenues have declined and public entities using public money have bailed out failed banks. Austerity policies have drained household and small business resources and made the recession worse. Speculation on government bonds is commonplace for private banks while public finance has been tainted by corruption and collusion between politicians and private economic interests.
Moreover, in many countries private, as opposed to national debt, is due to household borrowing, aggressively promoted by the financial sector and governments in order to compensate for the stagnation of real wages while prices were rising.
The measures imposed by European institutions and governments are designed to make the people pay for this debt. However, in large part, this debt can be considered illegitimate since it was amassed with no regard for the common good. It is now clear that some countries will never be able to reimburse their debt.
Human rights must come before debt service and human needs before profit. As a matter of urgency, we demand European-wide measures to free peoples from the pressures of financial markets and austerity policies. Fiscal, tax and monetary policies must be changed so as to defuse the debt trap.
Our common and urgent demands:
1. Cancel immediately the ‘memoranda’ imposed by the Troika upon over-indebted countries. Cancel as well a considerable share of the public debt without harming the interests of small bondholders, savers and pensioners. Banks and the financial sector must take their share of the losses. Specific amounts to be cancelled should be defined democratically. In this regard, citizen debt audits can serve as a useful tool.
2. Suspend repayments until populations are protected against worsening poverty and employment and until economic development and ecological transition are ensured, public services strengthened and social and economic rights consolidated.
3. Target the richest segment of the population with a one-off wealth levy.
4. Mandate and oblige the European Central Bank and other public European banking institutions to lend directly to states at low interest and under democratic supervision without neoliberal “reform” programme conditionality. (…)
6th of march 2015: Alter Summit: For a democracy from below, let’s fight austerity everywhere
28th of march 2015: Convergence assembly gathered this 28th of March in the World Social Forum: Building another Europe – The Time to Act is Now ! http://www.altersummit.eu/accueil/article/building-another-europe-the-time-267
July 2015: After the night of shame, we must and will fight together for another Europe, http://www.altersummit.eu/accueil/article/after-the-night-of-shame-we-must
2016: Stop the coup: collective labour agreements now!