A useful pocket guide on how a crisis made in Wall Street was made worse by EU policies, how it has enriched the 1% to the detriment of the 99%, and outlining some possible solutions that prioritise people and the environment above corporate profits.
The fiscal treaty was voted on in a referendum in Ireland on 31st May and was approved by a margin of 60% to 40% (with a turnout of barely 50% of eligible voters). To understand the significance of the treaty and the referendum result, it is necessary to understand the origins of the Irish and European debt crises.
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.
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.
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.
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
Susan George, Fiona Dove, Yiorgos Vassalos, Dominique Plihon, Kenneth Haar
02 November 2011
In a podcast debate, four activist researchers debate why the European Union is wedlocked to economic policies that will only worsen the crisis and further undermine democratic control of public budget.
This paper examines global inequalities and the future of capitalism and socialism through an investigation of the oligarchic wealth on which the current global order is based and also looks at growing challenges to these social foundations of the present global system.
The Greek crisis has exposed the fundamental flaws in the Euro project: it stripped countries control over the price of money and allowed political elites to undermine Europe's post-war social contract.