16 October Brussels, Belgium
European Citizens’ Assembly on debt
Auditoire Dom Helder Camara, Rue Plétinckx, 19 (Siège CSC), 9h30-17h30
In the name of debt, the Troika and the Eurogroup have forced Greece to continue to implement austerity policies. The July 13th “agreement” blatantly demonstrated how the debt is a gun held by creditors and bankers to the temple of the people in order to impose austerity, insecurity and inequality. This only exacerbates the lack of legitimacy, the huge disparities and the instability of the European Union and the Eurozone.
Many movements throughout Europe refuse to bow to this blackmail and are seeking alternatives. The first objective of the conference will be to refute the false narrative of guilt (“we spent too much, now we must pay”) imposed by the elites. Debt audits took or are taking place in several countries and we now need to confront and publicise their results.
In Greece, for example, a Debt Truth Commission has investigated the origins and the composition of the Greek public debt, and the impact on the economy and the population of the conditionalities attached to the loans. We need to build a common understanding about how debt was created and exploited as a systemic tool of domination in the context of the European Union and the Eurozone: in Greece, as everywhere else, debt is an instrument to subject the people to the interests of the wealthy.
A second objective is to discuss proposals aimed at getting out of debt through democratic means. We do not pursue a consensus but an open, sincere and cordial discussion on at least three sets of issues:
- which instruments should we mobilise to get out of the debt blackmail: repudiation, restructuring, monetisation, capital tax, etc...
- what are the relevant levels, under which political conditions, for the implementation of the measures: local, national, European...
- how can we mobilise public opinion and social movements in Europe against the debt blackmail ?
The European Citizens’ Assembly on debt will be an important step in the construction of the urgently needed strategic debate on debt, austerity and alternative European solutions.
09h30 : Reception
10h - 12h 30: presentation and discussion of expert reports on the origins of debt in different countries, their differences and similarities (Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, Belgium...).
- Michel Husson (CAC France)
- Thanos Contargyris (Attac Greece)
- Aïcha Magha (ACiDe / FGTB Wallonne)
- Ludovica Rogers (Debt resistance Uk)
- Diarmund Ó Floinn (Ireland)
- Marco Bersani (President of ATTAC Italy)
- Facilitator: Chiara Filoni (CADTM Belgium)
12h 30 – 13h 30: lunch
13 h 30 - 16 h 30: what concrete measures are needed to tackle the debt and end austerity policies? at which levels should they be implemented (local / national / European) ?
- Zoe Konstantopoulou (former president of the Greek Parliament)
- Myriam Djegham (CSC, MOC, Belgium)
- Philippe Lamberts (Groups of the Greens)
- Miguel Urban (Podemos, Spain)
- Bruno Théret (specialized economist on the issue of complementary currencies)
- Moderation: Thomas Coutrot (ATTAC France)
16h 30 – 17h 30 : conclusions and common perspectives for action by Eric Toussaint (CADTM International)
European Attac Network, CADTM Europe