As Angela Merkel visits Athens on Tuesday, she will find a Greece in its fifth consecutive year of recession. In 2008 and 2009, the recession was a spillover from the global financial crisis. Since then it has been caused and deepened by the austerity policies imposed on Greece by the troika – of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the European Central Bank – and the Greek government.These policies are devastating the Greek people, especially workers, pensioners, small businessmen and women, and of course young people. The Greek economy has contracted by more than 22%, workers and pensioners have lost 32% of their income, and unemployment has reached an unprecedented 24% with youth unemployment at 55%. Austerity policies have led to cuts in benefits, the deregulation of the labour market and the further deterioration of the limited welfare state that had survived a neoliberal onslaught.
“That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality.” –Spokesperson for the Bush administration
RULE NUMBER ONE: “Revitalizing the cycle of debt is crucial to recovery.”
RULE NUMBER TWO: “It is necessary to reassure banks over the quality of their assets.”
“This plan will succeed only if popular struggles radically change the balance of forces. These struggles have started already and have led to the rise of left and resistance movements throughout Europe. They keep alive democracy, equality, freedom and solidarity, the most important values of the European political tradition. These values must prevail. Otherwise Europe will regress to a dark past we thought gone for ever.”
- Renounce all Greece’s debt, public and private, and
- reduce hours of work by half.
- RENOUNCE THE DEBT,
- SLASH HOURS OF LABOR,
- CREATE CONTAGION