On Saturday, EU Finance Ministers announced they would not extend the Greek bailout that would have covered the payments to IMF due on Tuesday. This was in response to the Greek government’s decision to call a referendum on the bailout terms and give the people an opportunity to have a say in the austerity programme that has ravaged the country for five years.
That the EU took calling a referendum as a “unilateral” decision to end the negotiations from Greece’s side shows the grossly undemocratic nature of the EU and its institutions.
Then today, another undemocratic EU institution, the European Central Bank, capped its Emergency Liquidity Assistance to Greek banks, forcing them to stay closed on Monday not to run out of funds. This unjustified political intervention from a supposedly independent body shows something crucial about financial capitalism: that democracy is essentially meaningless if it can be overrun by the sheer power of the banking sector.
Just last week, the Greek Truth Committee on Public Debt, set up by the Speaker of the Parliament, published a report detailing how Greece’s debt to the creditors – the IMF, the ECB and the EU – could be considered illegal, illegitimate and odious. Most of it never benefitted the Greek people, and the austerity conditions attached violated human rights legislation both domestically and internationally.
We fully support the work of the debt audit committee and call on the European institutions to respect its findings and cancel their unjust debts to Greece: as most of the risk has been taken from private to public institutions, the IMF, EU and ECB now hold 80% of Greece’s debt.
We express our solidarity with the Greek people and respect your right to stand strong against austerity and the power of neoliberal Europe. This is a crucial moment for democracy for the whole continent.
What you can do:
The report by the Debt Truth Committee can be found online: http://greekdebttruthcommission.org
There is also an international petition to cancel Greece’s debt, initiated by Jubilee Debt Campaign: http://cancelgreekdebt.org/en/
A solidarity protest called by Greece Solidarity Campaign is gathering on Trafalgar Square, London, at 6pm on Monday 29th June.