EU must not ‘enslave’ Greece at behest of banks

Anti-poverty campaigners say Greek austerity package is ‘structural adjustment for Europe’

Break the chains of Greece's debt protest

Ahead of today’s meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers in Brussels to discuss the €130bn bailout of Greece’s creditors, campaigners from Jubilee Debt Campaign [1] have demonstrated outside the European Commission office in London over the EU’s imposition of further austerity packages on Greece.

Campaigners held a photo opportunity showing the French, German and British banks whose interests are being prioritised by EU leaders holding Greece in the chains of debt slavery. [2]

Jubilee Debt Campaign, which was set up to campaign for a ‘debt jubilee’ for developing countries, says history is repeating itself in Europe. It is calling for a ‘jubilee style’ debt cancellation in Europe which would entail transparent debt audits, steep and democratic write-down of debts, regulation of financial institutions and social control of banking. [3]

Jonathan Stevenson, Campaigns Officer, said:
“What is happening in Greece today mirrors what has been happening in the developing world for 30 years – unaccountable international institutions demanding a pound of the people’s flesh in exchange for bailing out banks and rewarding speculators.

“This package only bail-outs the banks – indeed proposals on the table at the moment suggest that Greece will not even see most of this money – it will be paid to the ‘creditors’ through a separate account. In this light, the austerity measures seem to be no more than a sadistic punishment which even some of those pushing it know very well will have only a detrimental impact on Greece’s economy.”

The Greek Debt Audit Campaign which is demanding a full audit of Greece’s debts to examine their legitimacy, has condemned the bailout which it says will “enslave us to the state’s creditors” [4]

Social movements around Europe declared Saturday 18 February a day of solidarity action with the Greek people under the banner ‘We are all Greek’. [5]

ENDS

For more information contact Jubilee Debt Campaign on 020 7324 4722 or 07932 335464.

Notes for editors

1. Jubilee Debt Campaign UK is part of a global movement demanding freedom from the slavery of unjust debts and a new financial system that puts people first.

2. Non-Greek European bank’s exposure to Greek public and private debt is €117 billion, of which 1) France accounts for €43 billion, 2) Germany accounts for €37 billion, and 3) the UK accounts for €12 billion.

3. Jubilee Debt Campaign first called for jubilee-style debt cancellation for Europe in September 2011.

4. See the Greek Debt Audit Campaign, http://www.elegr.gr. For an English translation of the 12 February 2012 statement see http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/?lid=7476.twl.

5. See the Facebook event ‘We are all Greeks take to the streets on 18 February’,
https://www.facebook.com/events/300173683376937/.

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