Campaign news

Letters on Greece

2nd July 2015

Greek Crisis Brings Eurozone to a Crossroads

Letter to ‘Guardian’ 29.06.15

We call on David Cameron to support the organisation of a European conference to agree debt cancellation for Greece and other countries that need it, informed by debt audits and funded by recovering money from the banks and financial speculators who were the real beneficiaries of bailouts (Greek leader calls last ditch referendum on bailout, 27 June). We believe there must be an end to the enforcing of austerity policies that are causing injustice and poverty in Europe and across the world. We urge the creation of UN rules to deal with government debt crises promptly, fairly and with respect for human rights, and to signal to the banks and financiers that we won’t keep bailing them out for reckless lending.

Frances O’Grady General secretary, TUC
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union
Paul Kenny General secretary, GMB
Manuel Cortes General secretary, TSSA
Sarah-Jayne Clifton Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign
Paul Mackney Chair, Greece Solidarity Campaign
Nick Dearden Global Justice Now
Owen Epsley War on Want
James Meadway New Economics Foundation
Ann Pettifor Prime Economics
Diane Abbott MP
Dave Anderson MP
Richard Burgon MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Jonathan Edwards MP
Roger Godsiff MP
Harry Harpham MP
Carolyn Harris MP
George Kerevan MP
Ian Lavery MP
Clive Lewis MP
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Caroline Lucas MP
John McDonnell MP
Liz Mcinnes MP
Rachael Maskell MP
Michael Meacher MP
Grahame Morris MP
Kate Osamor MP
Liz Saville-Roberts MP
Cat Smith MP
Chris Stephens MP
Jo Stevens MP
Catherine West MP
Hywel Williams MP

Greeks, don’t Give in to EU Ultimatum

Letter to ‘Guardian’ 30.06.15

Over the past five years, the EU and the IMF have imposed unprecedented austerity on Greece. It has failed badly. The economy has shrunk by 26%, unemployment has risen to 27%, youth unemployment to 60% and the debt-to-GDP ratio jumped from 120% to 180%. The economic catastrophe has led to a humanitarian crisis, with more than 3 million people on or below the poverty line (The moral crusade against Greece must be opposed, Opinion, 29 June).
Against this background, the Greek people elected the Syriza-led government on 25 January with a clear mandate to put an end to austerity. In the ensuing negotiations, the government made it clear that the future of Greece is in the eurozone and the EU. The lenders, however, insisted on the continuation of their failed recipe, refused to discuss a writedown of the debt – which the IMF is on record as considering unviable – and finally, on 26 June, issued an ultimatum toGreece by means of a non-negotiable package that would entrench austerity. This was followed by a suspension of liquidity to the Greek banks and the imposition of capital controls.

In this situation, the government has asked the Greek people to decide the future of the country in a referendum to be held next Sunday. We believe that this ultimatum to the Greek people and democracy should be rejected. The Greek referendum gives the European Union a chance to restate its commitment to the values of the enlightenment – equality, justice, solidarity – and to the principles of democracy on which its legitimacy rests. The place where democracy was born gives Europe the opportunity to recommit to its ideals in the 21st century.

Etienne Balibar
Costas Douzinas
Barbara Spinelli
Rowan Williams
Immanuel Wallerstein
Slavoj Zizek
Michael Mansfield
Judith Butler
Alain Badiou
Chantal Mouffe
Saskia Sassen
Homi Bhabha
Wendy Brown
Eric Fassin
Tariq Ali
Ed Vulliamy
Christoff Menke
Dipesh Chakrabarti
Claudia Moatti
Eduardo Cadava
Jean Comaroff
Daniel Loick
Marcus Rediker
Claudia Moatti
Ramin Jahanbegloo
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
Lynne Segal
Sandro Mezzadra
Walter Mignolo
Joanna Bourke
Catherine Malabou
Fethi Benslama
Andreas Fischer-Lescano
Dirk Setton
Georg Lohmann
Lydia Liu
Saree Makdisi
Stathis Gourgouris
Robin Celikates
Emily Apter
Kate Hudson
Dirk Quadflieg
Giacomo Marramao
Engin Isin
Pheng Cheah
Carlos M Herrera
Alfonso Iacono
Ariella Gross
Paddy McDaid
Robert Meister
Iain Chambers
Neni Panourgia
James Tully
Margarita Tsomou
Isidoros Diakides
Liza Thompson
Paul McNee
Sionaidh Douglas-Scott
Bruce Robbins
Josef Früchtl
Alan Norries
Antonios Tzanakopoulos
Nicolas Countouris
Keith Ewing
Manfred Weiss
Akbar Rasulov
Gleider Hernández
Matthew Happold
Johan van der Walt
Kerem Oktem
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon
Umut Oszu
Mavluda Sattorova
Gentian Zyberi
Richard Collins
Thomas Skouteris
Thanos Zartaloudis
Aris Katzourakis
Eleni Stamou
Gkikas Magiorkinis
Elinor Payne
Pari Skamnioti,
Ebru Soytemel
Eva Nanopoulos
Ilias Plakokefalos

EU leaders’ Chance to Create Good History

Letter to ‘Financial Times’ 30.06.15

Sir, We call on European leaders to avoid creating bad history!

Enable Greece to pay the €1.6bn payment to the IMF on June 30. Allow a debt swap with ECB bonds coming due in July and August in exchange for bonds from the bailout fund, with longer maturities and lower interest rates reflecting the lower borrowing costs of the creditors. Then make a fresh start, bearing in mind, first, that the contractionary austerity policy demanded of Greece has been discredited by the IMF’s own research department; and second, that Syriza’s leaders are committed to undertaking far-reaching reforms in the Greek state — if they can get the latitude to do so.

Prof Joseph Stiglitz
Columbia University; Nobel Prize winner
of Economics
Prof Thomas Piketty
Paris School of Economics
Massimo D’Alema
Former Prime Minister of Italy; president
of FEPS (Foundation of European
Progressive Studies)
Prof Mary Kaldor
London School of Economics
Prof Stephany Griffith-Jones
IPD Columbia University
Prof Inge Kaul
Hertie School of Governance
Hilary Wainwright
Transnational Institute, Amsterdam
Michael Burke
Economists Against Austerity
Prof Panicos Demetriades
University of Leicester; ex-Governor
of the Central Bank of Cyprus and former
member of the ECB Governing Council
Prof Gustav Horn
University of Duisburg-Essen
Prof James Galbraith
University of Texas at Austin
Prof Marcus Miller
Warwick University
Prof Jose Antonio Ocampo
Columbia University
Prof Avinash Persaud
Peterson Institute for International Economics
Prof James Putzel
London School of Economics
Prof Helmut Reisen
German Development Institute
Dr Ernst Stetter
Secretary General, FEPS (Foundation of European Progressive Studies)
Prof Frances Stewart
University of Oxford
Prof Robert Wade
London School of Economics


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