History of the CADTM’s anti-debt Policies – Part 1 – Against illegitimate debt: Origins
by LEMOINE Benjamin, TOUSSAINT Bruno, TOUSSAINT Eric
Interview with Eric Toussaint, spokesperson and co-founder of the international network of the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM). Interview by Benjamin Lemoine.
This interview presents the genealogy of the anti-debt struggle, the campaigns for debt cancellation, the empirical foundation, the political battles and the concepts of the “illegitimate”, “illegal” or “odious” nature of public debt. In other words, how it is necessary for the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) – formerly known as the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt – to ally with opposition forces and social movements, where the concepts and the people involved can challenge and overpower debt and its "system” once the government hears their voice. Yet, for CADTM the outright priority is to fortify the activities described below rather than lobbying.
From Africa to Latin America, citizens’ participation in audits ushers in hope. However, most of the time their purpose is lost due to the neglect of the crusaders-turned-rulers, where the rulers have the final say vis-à-vis the financial system. Yet, sometimes the audits are immensely successful. We review the experience of the audit of the Greek sovereign debt, full of intrigues and unexpected twists in which it took very little to tip the balance. When the hopeful dream for a new international cooperation (a conference in London on the Greek debt as requested by Alexis Tsipras) seems naive and where, according to Eric Toussaint, unilateral sovereign decisions are indispensable in order to reverse the balance of power.