DEBTOCRACY ΧΡΕΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ


Uploaded by sfakiacrete on 28.08.2011

Transcript:
Georgios Papadopoulos:Dictator: - Yet once shall I attempt a comparison with doctors
We have a patient; we've placed him in a plaster cast.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: IMF Managing Director:
As has been said before, history has this wicked habit…
of repeating itself «as farce».
So, from a dictator/wannabe-doctor, we moved on to the MDs of the IMF.
Andreas Papandreou: PM of Greece, 1981-1990, 1993-1996: - Everybody has to join in the struggle, fully aware that…
either the nation will obliterate its huge debt… or the huge debt will obliterate the nation.
Constantinos Mitsotakis: PM of Greece, 1990-1993: - This year's incomes policy will be strict and austere.
No raises will be given whatsoever.
Costas Simitis: Greece PM, 1996-2004: - There is no more room for benefits or tax cuts.
Costas Karamanlis - PM of Greece, 2004-2009 - We have to cut public spending, we have to tidy up our house.
And this cannot be achieved with your empty promises…
of handing out money and privileges at a time of such crisis.
Giorgos Papandreou PM of Greece - Unfortunately, our country is in the ICU. The nation's fiscal deadlock…
threatens our sovereignty for the first time since 1974.
In the last 40 years, two political parties, 3 families of politicians…
along with certain businessmen, led the country to bankruptcy.
They declared suspension of payments to the people, in order to save their lenders.
After decades of continuous austerity, the Czars of the economy…
advertised Greece as the local financial superpower.
Yannos Papantoniou - Minister for Finance 1994-2001: - Our work is great. We were the first to solve the economic problems.
N. Christodoulakis - Minister for Finance 2001-2004: - Once more, our economy will prove to be our strongest asset.
Yannos Papantoniou - Minister for Finance 1994-2001: - The economy sprang forward and went… from second to first league.
When their creation crumbled, those people said behind our back… - -
that, due to some genetic disorder, we were incapable of handling…
our economy without foreign aid.
Our government called us bums, and our lenders «PIIGS»...
as was the case with all peripheral EU countries.
And our ministers tried to convince us that all of us had a part in this.
Brian Lenihan - Ireland's Minister for Finance, 2008-2011:
Theodoros Pangalos - Vice-president of the Greek government: - The answer to the denouncement of the country's politicians…
that makes people ask us, «what did you do with the money?» is:
We made you civil servants! We all had a part in this! 35 00:05:33,240 --> 00:05:37,220 So are we the prodigal children of a neat global economy…
and an all-successful Europe?
Or has the system been ailing since its youth?
Capitalist economy in the post-war period consists of two parts.
Costas Lapavitsas - Professor in Economics: - In the first 25 years after World War II, the growth rate was high.
Real income rose, as did the consumption of goods.
Those were novel circumstances in the history of capitalism.
David Harvey - Social scientist
This happy period ended in the mid-Seventies.
From then on, we entered a period of low growth, recurrent crises...
suppressed, if any, rises in workers' income— and high unemployment.
Mature capitalist countries found it difficult...
to accrue wealth. 48 00:08:40,120 --> 00:08:44, 180 This period was marked by a huge growth in the financial system…
which was termed financialisation. 50 00:08:48,150 --> 00:08:54,160 Financialisation brought on and intensified the crises.
When the US housing bubble burst…
the financial system came close to total collapse.
As a result, it affected the real economy, which had its own structural problems.
States took rescue measures. They used tax-payers' money… 55 00:10:35,100 --> 00: 00:10:38,070 to save the banks and restore demand.
Thus, the financial crisis went fiscal.
And those same banks which were saved by the tax-payers…
decided to bite the hand that fed them, by gambling on state bankruptcies.
Speculation makes things worse in Greece, too.
Only, this time, the problem is even deeper.
It's time for the Eurozone to pay.
King Euro proves naked, mainly because he's a king without a state.
Samir Amin - Economist - There cannot be a currency without a state.
Despite their weaknesses, the advantage of the US dollar...
among other things, is that there is a state called the USA.
Europe does not exist as a political entity.
There's no legitimized political power connecting its states.
In my opinion, the Eurozone is not viable.
In contrast to the USA, where the federal government…
and the Federal Reserve System intervene to ameliorate inequalities…
among states, the Eurozone accentuates inequality.
This is how the PIIGS, the poor relatives of the EU, came into existence.
The Eurozone is divided distinctly into central and peripheral states.
The crisis is most intense in the peripheral states.
The central states, especially Germany, are winners because of the Euro.
The competitiveness of EU states came to vary a lot…
and the competitiveness of peripheral countries fell steadily and systematically behind.
This was directly due to the Euro.
Éric Toussaint, president of the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt - The crisis in the EU was a result of the way Europe was integrated.
With Greece, it's like putting Muhammad Ali …
the World Heavyweight Champion, in the ring with a featherweight boxer…
and telling them: «Start fighting and let's see who wins».
Why are the peripheral countries lagging behind in competitiveness?
Most of all, what causes this divergence to keep increasing?
The myth of the "lazy periphery" and "industrious Germany"...
with its "high productivity" is just that. All the German governments managed…
was to declare war on their own work-force...
and freeze their salaries for a decade.
Sahra Wagenknecht - Deputy Chairperson, Die Linke - In recent years, the nominal increase in salaries was 7% (in Germany)…
while in the Eurozone it was 27%.
This gap logically results in loss of competitiveness in other countries.
When salaries go down in one country, while they go up in all the others …
it's only natural that the competitiveness of the German economy is boosted…
while the other countries are unable to follow.
The Eurozone countries are no longer able to devaluate their currency.
This resulted in the establishment of a mechanism…
which was bound to lead to the results we have today.
Costas Lapavitsas - Professor in Economics: - The loss of competitiveness manifested itself in two ways…
both of which played a decisive part in the crisis.
Firstly, great deficits occurred in current transactions.
And Greece had the greatest deficit of all. When you're unable to compete…
your transactions with the rest of the world result in a deficit.
And Greece’s deficit is huge.
But this goes for the other peripheral countries, as well.
This phenomenon went hand-in-hand with the accruing of debt.
If you have such deficits, you must balance them somehow.
In the EU, Greece is the poor relative.
Greece belongs to the European Continent's semi-peripheral countries.
It's evident that Greece was bound to accrue national debt…
given the circumstances of its integration into European markets.
I won't even bother with the rumour that Greeks are lazy.
That's pure racism.
The Eurozone destroys the immune system of peripheral countries…
leaving them exposed to the global crisis.
The Achilles' heel of those countries is deficit and debt.
In our case, the debt is rooted…
deep in the history of the Greek state.
Manolis Glezos - historical figure of the Greek Left - From the time of the Revolution of 1821, our country…
started borrowing. And it's been borrowing ever since.
With one exception.
During an extraordinarily "happy" period, Greece managed to become a lender.
During the German Occupation, Greece lent to Germany.
The Germans forced Greece to become a lender instead of a borrower.
After the German Occupation ended, the country resumed its traditional role;
that of a borrower.
And national debt as we know it, started to rise in the 1980s.
The high levels of national borrowing in Greece…
relate to Greece's social and class structure…
and the form the Greek economy has assumed over the last few decades.
It has to do with the Greek state's systematic inability…
to implement an effective and fair system of taxation.
(History of Greek sovereign debt)
Andreas Papandreou created the necessary welfare state
without increasing corporate and high income taxes.
He saved jobs by nationalizing loss-making private companies.
Primarily though, he saved the companies' owners.
Public deficit and sovereign debt increased dramatically.
Mitsotakis’ government continued to borrow.
The Maastricht treaty imposed world markets as the only mechanism for deficit control,
prohibiting other means of money creation.
Debt skyrocketed with the highest increase rate in Greek history.
Kostas Simitis was luckier.
«Creative accounting», the fall of European interest rates
and economic growth were on his side.
This way, he was able to conceal the bomb
that he placed on sovereign debt.
During his premiership,the percentage of debt seemed to decrease slightly.
Kostas Karamanlis decreased capital taxation by 10%.
The economic free fall accelerated
and debt exploded once more.


Most countries in a similar situation were visited by the IMF.
But none paid as dearly as Argentina…
Greece's mirror image on the other side of the Atlantic.
Argentina fell into the debt trap at the same time as Greece…
in 1824, with the first British loans.
But the noose tightened towards the end of the 20th century.
Argentina locked the rate of its peso against the US dollar.
This made it impossible for them, to exercise a monetary policy.
Argentina experienced its own Eurozone.
Only, instead of Berlin, they were up against Washington DC.
M. Camdessus - IMF Managing Director, 1987-2000:
At the same time, the IMF turned the country into...
yet another experimental laboratory for Neoliberalism.
(Excerpt from the documentary film The Take)
Avi Lewis - Film-maker / Journalist:
Gerard Dumenil - Economist
After Argentina's economic collapse in 2001...
the IMF and its Neoliberal theories...
became the laughing stock of economists all over the world.
But some monsters never die.
(I have 3 children and no job, please help)
Greece will pay dearl for the intervention of the IMF.
And, in some cases, she will even pay for it in advance.
Ron Paul - Republican Congressman -
Ben Bernanke Chairman of FED -
Argentina was confronted by the IMF alone.
But Greece found herself serving two masters.
Because, in Europe, Neoliberal theories were also being promoted…
by the European Central Bank.
Ironically enough, in the case of Greece…
the IMF was softer than the EU.
The measures applied in collaboration with the IMF, the ECB and the EU…
are not only unfair and dangerous to the Greek people.
They're also doomed to fail right from the start.
They have a tragic impact on the people's quality of life…
and on their daily life even.
And it's highly unlikely that they will have a positive effect…
on the economy in general, and the management of national debt.
Like in Argentina, the target was to save not the economy…
but rather the banks and the big enterprises.
The measures taken now are stabilization measures …
to prevent Greece from proceeding to a cessation of due payments.
They are not measures which will reduce the debt.
It is more than obvious that the debt will continue to increase quickly…
regardless of the measures, and, indeed, as a result of them.
The measures aim clearly to protect the lenders…
to protect the banks.
Within a few months, the Greek government gave the banks…
EUR 108 billion…
which is almost the entire rescue package received from the IMF and the EU.
(Excerpt from the documentary film Social Genocide)
When Argentina faced a similar situation…
several of those responsible were punished.
The image of presidents leaving the presidential palace in choppers…
still haunts both the IMF and its collaborators.
One magical night, just like in Argentina…
we'll see who gets to hop into the chopper first!
Year #1 after the IMF intervention.
Greece has entered an intensive programme of "purging" procedures, "asset utilisation"…
"rationalisation measures" and "tidying up".
The delegates of the IMF, EUand ECB have taken up permanent residence in Athens…
and are dictating their policy through an unconstitutional memorandum.
Dominique Strauss - Kahn IMF Managing Director -
What is Greece today?
Are we a free country? Yes.
Are we independent? No, we've been reduced to vassals.
Freedom is one thing, sovereignty quite another.
Our country's problem is that she has lost her sovereignty.
In splendid collaboration with their foreign lenders…
the government has turned against the people with harsh austerity measures. 223 00:28:49,20 0 --> 00:28:53,230 The result is poverty, failed businessed, and unemployment.
We consider the centre of Athens to be…
N. Kanakis : president - Doctors of the World – Greece - facing a humanitarian crisis. All the distinctive features are there;
people who are hungry or homeless, who lack medication and healthcare.
And they just wander around the squares.
It's not much different from what we see in Third World countries.
You have to remember that we deal with the poorest of the poor.
There are people who still maintain some social security rights…
but that is not enough, as a poor woman-pensioner indicated.
She said: "I buy either food or medicine. I can't afford both".
The government's measures are not simply worsening…
the citizens' living conditions. They pose an immediate threat to their lives.
Panos Papanicolaou: Neurosurgeon - In all of the countries "supported" by the IMF up to now…
there has been a dramatic drop in average life expectancy
It's what we usually refer to as the average lifespan.
There were countries where, after the IMF ordeal…
the average lifespan fell by 5-10 years. With the cuts we are facing now…
it's clear that our life expectancy will be greatly reduced.
The citizens react.
The government's response is in breach of even the basic principles of democracy…
The penalisation of wearing a hood, the unjustified arrests and…
the hood-wearing policemen, all border on the para-state.
This liberality with tear-gas leaves us no money for free education
Alain Badiou Philosopher: Philosopher - Crises are always solved through measures against society and against the people…
which may be particularly harsh.
This is how capitalism controls the situation.
The problem of capitalism is how to get these measures accepted.
For that, violence is deployed.
In response to the "financial gale" alert…
Democracy makes way for Debtocracy.
Poor people, don't eat each other. Eat the rich, they're plumper!
A crisis of capitalism causes extensive devaluation.
The value is lost through financial speculation.
Somebody has to pay for this devaluation.
However, the capitalists do not intend to pay for it.
They're not at all altruistic.
But if those who caused the crisis do not intend to pay for it…
why should we pay?
In the past, dozens of countries have successfully repudiated debts…
not incurred by their citizens, in accordance with provisions…
of the international law, such as the concept of odious debt.
The history of odious debt [animation]
Our story starts in the 1920s, with Alexander Sack.
Sack was a minister and law specialist in Czarist Russia.
After the 1917 Revolution, he taught in universities of Europe and the USA.
In 1927, he came up with a brilliant concept:
the concept of odious debt.
In order to define a debt as odious, three prerequisites are needed.
1. The government of the country receives a loan…
without the knowledge and approval of the people.
2. The loan is spent on activities not beneficial to the people.
3. The lenders know of this situation…
but play possum.
Sack's proposals sound progressive, even revolutionary.
Actually, at that time, they served the interests…
of a rising superpower: the United States of America.
The USA had found themselves in need of the "odious debt" concept in 1898…
when they won the Spanish-American war and annexed Cuba.
Their problem was that, together with Cuba…
they acquired the debt incurred by the Spanish colonial regime.
And, since Spanish colonialism had lasted four centuries…
from 1492, when Columbus set foot in America, till 1898…
that debt was quite heavy.
Of course, the USA had no intention of paying for the mistakes of past regimes.
They decided that Cuba's debt was odious…
and simply refused to pay it.
The same had happened in Mexico a few decades earlier.
When the Republicans overthrew emperor Maximilian I…
they decided that the debt he had incurred was odious.
Maximilian had borrowed huge sums at excessively high interest rates…
to deal with the uprising against him.
And since he owed a lot, mainly to the people of Mexico…
he was sentenced to death and sent to the firing squad.
In the late 19th-early 20th century, most instances of odious debt…
concerned underdeveloped countries on the American continent.
Actually, a rising superpower was involved in all those debt repudiations:
the United States of America.
And this same superpower brought the concept of odious debt…
into the 21st century.
December 2002: the White House is putting the finishing touches…
to the planned invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Before the attack starts, however, American officials…
are preparing for the day after Saddam Hussein's overthrowal.
The State Department knows that they will have to deal with…
Iraq's huge national debt. Therefore, they are trying to prove…
that this debt is odious.
A secret task-force is formed, and they propose that…
the first provisional government of Iraq declare cessation of due payments…
on the pretext that the Iraqi people must not pay the odious debt incurred…
by the Iraqi regime. All is now ready for the attack.
Éric Toussaint: President of CADTM - In March 2003, the USA and their allies invaded Iraq.
Three weeks later, the US Secretary for the Treasury called for a summit meeting…
of G8 finance ministers in Washington, and announced that Hussein's debt was odious.
He said: "Hussein's regime is dictatorial and its debt must be repudiated".
"The new government of Iraq must be free of Hussein's debt".
George W. Bush instructed former Secretary of State, James Baker…
to convince the international community that Iraq's debt was odious.
And Baker claimed that Saddam Hussein wasted his people's money…
on building palaces and buying arms.
Among other things, American diplomats proved that Iraq owed…
billions of dollars to France and Russia, for the purchase of Exocet missiles…
and fighter aircraft such as Mirage F1 and MiG.
Actually, Hussein's way was not that different…
from what many Western leaders do. To the Arabs, palaces are…
what the Olympic Games are to the West: a demonstration of economic…
and geopolitical dominance.
The American diplomacy finally proved that Iraq's debt was odious…
and the Iraqi people were not obliged to pay it.
However, Washington suddenly realised that they'd pried open a can of worms.
For the first time in the 21st century, the ultimate superpower had legitimised…
the concept of odious debt. So, they chose…
to sweep this case under the carpet.
The other countries said: "We'll cut 40% off Iraq's debt through the Paris Club".
"But the concept of odious debt must not be used officially…"
"because other countries may claim this right as well".
"For example, the DR Congo will repudiate Mobutu's debt…"
"the Philippines will refuse to pay the debt of dictator Marcos…"
"and South Africa will refuse the debt of the apartheid regime".
To prevent the extension of the concept of odious debt into the 21st century…
they reached an ad hoc decision on Iraq.
However, it is obvious to us that the odious debt doctrine was used.
The USA continued to help Iraq to cancel old debts.
But nobody in Washington ever wanted to hear again…
the expression "odious debt".
Iraq managed to write off a big part of its debt…
with the support of an empire. But another country resolved…
to stand on its own two feet and stand up against the IMF…
and its other big lenders. They managed to prove that their debt…
was not only odious, but also illegitimate and unconstitutional.
Welcome to Ecuador.
Rafael Correa President of Ecuador - We have national commitments, more urgent than international ones.
We'll fulfill our international obligations as soon as we are able.
But our priorities are clear. Life comes first, repaying debts second.
Ecuador could have been one of the richest countries in South America.
But, from the moment that oil was discovered...
all the country knew was dictators, poverty, debt and economic hit-men.
John Perkins: Activist, former economic hit-man -
In 1982, Ecuador was visited by the IMF and a committee of wise men…
representing the country's big lenders. Ecuador had been forced to borrow…
more and more, in order to fulfill past obligations.
Hugo Arias: Head of Ecuador audit committee - Ecuador was constantly being looted by the countries of the North.
For example, from 1980-1990 up to 2005…
almost 50% of the government budget was used to repay debts.
Namely, about 3-4 billion US dollars a year.
Only 4% was for health care.
Four billion for repaying debts, 400 million for health care.
Four billion for the debt, 800 million for education.
We were killing our own people.
The people of Ecuador protested. For a moment…
things appeared to be in control when Lucio Gutiérrez took over.
Gutiérrez promised social benefits. He spoke like a socialist…
but, as soon as he took office, he made a new deal with the IMF…
and implemented measures of extreme austerity. 381 00:45:60,130 --> 00:46:07,050 The people decided that he should leave with the same means of transport…
favoured by Argentinian presidents: the chopper.
Vice-president Palacio takes over.
He has good intentions, but soon succumbs to Washington.
So the people turn to the only politician who'd resisted international pressure.
Rafael Correa.
Song: una sola vuelta - From the first round…
Correa, from the first round.
Ecuador from the first round.
Hope is triumphant.
We are your united people.
We stand united.
March on, Ecuador Alliance.
March on for justice.
March on for your rights.
March on, Correa, for Ecuador.
From the first round…
Correa, from the first round.
Ecuador from the first round!
Correa studied economics in Europe and the USA…
and knows very well how to handle the World Bank and the IMF…
as long as one has the political will.
As Minister of Finance, in 2005, Correa declared that it was unnatural…
to use oil revenues in order to pay back the debt.
This was unfair to the people. He said that 80% of the revenues…
should be used for health benefits, education and the creation of jobs…
and only 20% should be channeled towards repayment of the debt.
The World Bank said that they wouldn't lend to Ecuador if such a law passed.
This was an obvious interference with Ecuador's internal policy.
Correa declared that he would never follow such instructions from the WB.
He chose to resign rather than succumb. This made him very popular.
The people said: "This man chose to resign from minister…"
"in order to defend the dignity and the interests of the people". 414 00:48:58,160 --> 00:49:03,030 Correa was finally elected in 2006. One of his first actions was…
to deport the representative of the World Bank…
and ask the IMF delegation to leave the Central Bank's premises.
Officials of the IMF such as Bob Traa, who later came to Greece…
had already been dubbed "unwanted" by the people of Ecuador.
Those callous, dishonest bureaucrats have to respect our country.
This is why we deported the WB delegate. We maintain the right to restore…
the damage done to our country and declare our debt to the WB illegitimate.
Six months later, Correa went a step further.
He fulfilled the demand of social organisations…
for an Audit Committee.
I was one of the people Correa chose for the Committee.
18 individuals and 4 national organisations participated.
We were to examine all debt contracts, from 1956 to 2006.
We worked for 14 months. We examined the bond debt …
the debts to the IMF, the World Bank and other international organisations.
We examined the debt to countries such as France, Japan and Germany.
Finally, we examined Ecuador's internal national debt.
The battle to access the data was tremendous.
In the Ministry of Finance, our associate Alejandro Olmos Jr…
and myself, were declared "personae non gratae".
The officials in the Ministry of Finance wrote to the Minister…
to complain and denounce both mine and Olmos' actions…
claiming that we were inflicting harm on the Ministry's employees.
We laughed it off, but you imagine how difficult it was…
after we'd been accused of being the "bad guys"…
in that procedure.
Despite the setbacks, the Committee managed to complete its work…
and discovered that a big part of the debt was illegitimate.
They acknowledged their findings to the state, who told the people.
The work of the Committee was made public, and this is very important.
The people of Ecuador now knew why the debt contracts of past regimes…
especially those of the year 2000, were illegitimate.
Song: "Dale Correa Rafael" - March on, Rafael Correa!
Our homeland is marching against…
the decadent Congress…
and the bureaucratic dictatorship…
of the old politicians.
Power belongs to the people. Your brother tells you so.
The people of Ecuador want a new constitution.
March on, Correa.
Correa, strike against the "bosses" who devastated our homeland.
March on, Correa.
March on, Rafael Correa.
Based on the findings of the Committee, the government proved that…
the debt was illegitimate and declared cessation of payments…
for 70% of Ecuador's debt in bonds.
Those in possession of Ecuador's debt sold bonds at 20% of their value.
The government started to buy them secretly.
They gave 800 million dollars and bought off 3 billion dollars of debt.
This significant reduction allowed an improvement in living conditions.
Furthermore, they rid themselves of the interest they would have had to pay till 2012 or 2030.
They saved at least 7 billion dollars, which was great for the country.
This allowed the government to increase expenditure on health, education…
the creation of new jobs, and improvement in infrastructure.
In Greece, historians, economists and political analysts…
use up tons of ink daily to tell us how to handle our national debt.
Yet, there is one question very few pose.
Do the Greek people really owe as much as their creditors claim?
The debt incurred by Greece recently bears evidence of illegitimacy.
For example, the authorities received "gifts" from companies such as Siemens…
who, together with Siemens Hellas, bribed ministers and officials…
for at least a decade, in order to gain contracts.
In this case, we have evidence of illegality and illegitimacy.
So, this debt should be examined in court. To me, this is evident.
Greek justice proved inadequate in the Siemens case.
And it was too slow in other cases of deals…
made behind the people's back, which have increased the debt.
With the infamous swaps of 2001, the government mortgaged the future…
to present a false prosperous present. They made the Greek debt look lower…
by changing a loan from JPY to EUR, using outdated exchange rates.
They were assisted in this by Goldman Sachs, who made…
millions out of this deal.
Mark Kirk: US Senator -
The trick worked for many years. And the Greek political elite…
showed they could reward their allies amply. They re-hired…
Goldman Sachs as consultant and paid them with the people's money.
Jean Quatremer: Journalist, Liberation - Goldman Sachs consulted and attacked the Greek government simultaneously.
The scandal was revealed in 2010. A few days earlier…
a former employee of Goldman Sachs…
had been assigned leader of the Greek Public Debt Management Agency.
Hiring an employee of Goldman Sachs is like hiring a criminal.
It's the same as hiring a bank robber to guard your house.
You think that he knows how robbers think, so he'll be a better guard.
But there's great danger that one day he'll rob you and vanish.
Who can guarantee to me that this former Goldman Sachs man…
will handle Greek affairs in the best possible way?
Several countries blame Greece for her transactions with Goldman Sachs.
Only these are the same countries who exploit their liaisons…
with Greek governments, to sell weapons to Greece…
at a good price.
Sahra Wagenknecht: Deputy Chairperson, Die Linke - When, one year ago, Germany was negotiating to support Greece…
one of the main terms was that Greece would continue to import German arms.
Greece should cut down on pensions and social benefits, not on arms' imports.
This is indicative of the interests involved. Germany protects…
the interests of military equipment manufacturers, and its export industry.
Those people want to continue trading despite the crisis.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit : president, European Greens-European Free Alliance - We're hypocrites! Last month, France sold 6 frigates to Greece for 2.5 billion.
Also, helicopters worth 400 million and Rafale aircraft at 100 million each.
I don't know if we sold 10, 20, or 30. The total cost is almost 3 billion.
Germany sold 6 submarines to Greece, worth 1 billion.
We're such hypocrites! We give them money so they can buy our arms.
Before the hypocrisy of Europe, criminal back-downs come…
hand-in-hand with criminal decisions, always for "Greece's own good"…
or to support a new Greek expansionism that will lead to economic devastation.
Giorgos Voulgarakis Minister of Public Order, 2004-2006
Éric Toussaint: President of CADTMT - here were huge expenses and the cost now burdens the people.
The loans for the Olympic Games were paid with tax-payers' money.
It's only natural that the people demand to know why the budget exploded…
and where that money went.
The Olympic Games and the corrupt transactions with Siemens or Goldman Sachs…
are but a small fraction of the shady deals made at the people's expense.
However, there are more important matters which concern…
not only Greece, but all peripheral European countries.
Costas Lapavitsas: Professor of Economics - Have all the rules which govern the issuing of bonds been followed?
Also, are there any questions of legitimacy…
about the banks who played the main role for issuing bonds…
either in the primary or the secondary market?
Which banks took part? How were they reimbursed?
Under what terms and conditions did they participate?
Sahra Wagenknecht: Deputy Chairperson, Die Linke - Part of the national debts incurred in Eurozone countries is illegitimate…
because they resulted from policies against the people’s interests .
So these debts must not be paid by the people.
Ecuador demonstrated how all those illegitimate or odious contracts…
can come to light through…
an Audit Committee.
Why don't they tell us what kind of debt this is?
How much is it? How was it incurred?
To whom do we owe money?
This is why an audit is necessary. An audit will define…
exactly what this debt is about. We have to know and denounce…
all the lies told by the government and the corporations…
who seize the Greek people's money, and all those who get amply paid…
to parrot and praise the government.
But who's going to set up the Audit Committee?
And most of all, how can we make sure that it won't be…
yet another parliament committee, consisting of the same people…
that got us into this situation?
The Audit Committee's members should not be specialists. It's not necessary.
Because if the government forms a committee of specialists…
even if they are called from abroad, even if ordinary citizens are included…
the committee may prove to be the government's mouthpiece.
Only the people have the authority and the right to request an audit…
because they suffer the consequences. All Greeks must become involved.
All social organisations must protest and demand an audit.
The Greek political parties ND and PASOK, who benefited from the creation of debt…
are very negative towards an audit, as their responsibility will be revealed.
People, organisations, unions, judges, intellectuals, artists - everybody must act.
They must express their views and exert pressure on political authority.
In March 2011, a group of people from different backgrounds…
took the initiative to demand the formation…
of an Audit Committee in Greece.
Academics, writers, artists, union representatives from all over the world…
supported this initiative willingly.
The Audit Committee will find which parts of the debt…
are odious or illegitimate…
and will prove that, as provided by Greek and International Law…
the Greek people are not obliged to pay such debt.
However, the decision is basically political, not financial.
Even if the debt was legitimate, no government has the right…
to kill its people in order to satisfy its lenders.
Even if the entire Greek national debt of 350 billion proves legitimate…
which is clearly not going to be the case, Greece can never pay back.
It will have to be cancelled.
If honouring the debt and making it sustainable involves…
dismantling health care, dismantling education…
dismantling the transport system, then the debt is socially unsustainable.
Nobody is obliged to pay this debt…
since it was accrued because of corruption in the financial markets.
It's immoral to pay an immoral debt.
The formation of an Audit Committee, is ultimately…
just a valuable weapon in a broader battle.
This battle will follow the traditional rules by which…
battles have been fought for centuries.
Without this battle, even if we repudiate the debt repeatedly…
it will always rise from its ashes.
This means that a field for ideological, political…
and class struggle will form. The debt is a result of class struggle.
Don't hesitate to stand up for your rights against the EU and the Greek government.
Respect is gained through struggle, not by obeying one's creditors.
Look at Tunisia and Egypt.
Only when the people take action can the situation really change.
We have to shake off submissiveness, liberate ourselves from the IMF…
liberate ourselves from the ECB, and liberate ourselves from the EU…
because all three mean the economic slavery of Greece.
Giorgos Papandreou - Now is the crucial moment.
Let's go!
TRANSLATION - SUBTITLES ZOI SIAPANTA