In brief video interviews, European activist scholars expose how the EU Fiscal Treaty is undermining democracy, and share their hope that the Irish referendum will open up debate on citizens' alternatives to the EU programme of 'permanent austerity'.
Despite the strong and growing resistance in Greece and other European countries to the direction of EU policy responses to the crisis, the process for this new treaty has unfolded with disquieting speed: initiated in November, an agreement was already reached by end of January among the EU25. This comes at the expense of stifling democratic debate and, indeed, shortcutting the normal consultative procedures in the treaty process through legal manoeuvres.
Those who oppose the privatisation of public services are often confronted with the objection of 'no alternative'. However over the last decade, initiatives around the world to democratise public services and ensure equal access for all, resulted in interesting successful alternatives in practice. Two new books, co-published by TNI and the Municipal Services Project, show a wide range of alternatives in the form of successful, non-commercialised public services in health, water, sanitation and electricity.
The real news in Greece is not about riots, but of a growing number of people who have broken away from fear and decided to fight back against the austerity imposed by the 'Troika' of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
What would a progressive pan-European response to the Euro crisis look like? Professor Trevor Evans calls for a radical downsizing of the financial sector, debt audits, democratisation of the Commission and a full employment policy.
The ruthless austerity programmes imposed on Greece and the endless cycle of debt renegotiations will only come to a close when Athens takes charge of its predicament and announces a democratic and sovereign cessation of payments.