Let's think, discuss and eventually do something for our lives!
Protest-gathering & open assembly on Sunday 10th July, 17:00, Dam Square, Amsterdam
Since the outburst of the financial crisis back in 2008, there is an on-going attack on the rights of the people. This attack may at first sight seem to be different across countries, but at a closer inspection, it becomes obvious that this attack is actually the same. The argumentation used by european governments, EU officials and IMF is quite simple, there is a crisis and to deal with the crisis, budget cuts are needed. What all these officials do not say deliberately is the reasons that led to this crisis, and what these officials do not mention is that at the same time that they are imposing austerity measures, they are supporting the banks, providing them millions of euros.
The case of Greece is quite revealing of the situation. After a year of austerity measures and a rescue plan that led into further recession and increase of unemployement rates (in March 2011, the general unemployment rate was 16.2% and 40% for the youth), nothing has been solved and Greece is in even worse state, with more loans and in need of a new rescue plan. IMF and EU officials claim that the first rescue plan was right, but the implementation was wrong. However, a closer inspection shows that this is just a lie. The Greek government, EU and IMF knew that this kind of plan has no chance to succeed (one does not even need to be an economist to foresee failure: it is enough to see what happened in countries that followed similar plans, see for example, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Equador). The reason for implementing such a plan lies in the protection of the interests of the banks and of the interests of rich Greeks. In other words, EU used the Greek crisis as an excuse in order to subsidize further the banks. And after the failure of the first rescue plan, IMF, EU and the Greek government agreed on a second rescue plan with even more budget cuts and more severe terms. According to this second rescue plan, the Greek government should use the new loan to finance previous loans, needs to impose new austerity measures, reduce the public sector, privatise education, health and transportation and sell state property. What it means to sell state property becomes clear when examining what happened with the Greek telecommunication company (OTE) and Deutsche Telecom, a couple of weeks ago, Deutsche Telecom bought 10% of OTE for €400, while in 2008, Deutsche Telecom bought 30% of OTE for 3.8 millions… The most worrying part of the story is that this second rescue plan is also condemned to failure, leading Greek economy to further recession and Greek people to poverty. Similar budget cuts are imposed upon Spain, Portugal, Italy and during the last months some cuts were announced for The Netherlands too (look for instance what is happening in the mental health sectors, the culture sector, education and the public transport sector).
We are not happy with this situation. We feel that the profits of the banks and the industries are valued more than the quality of life of the people. We want to let IMF, EU and european governments know that we do not value the profits of banks and industries. We want to let IMF, EU and the european governments know also that we do not recognise the debt of any country and that we demand that the debts of the countries are written off.We express our solidarity to the Greek people and to every person that fights against the austerity measures and dreams of a society of the people, where life will be organised on the basis of equality and on the basis of the needs of people, instead of the needs of market, nation or ruling class.
Throughout Europe we have seen people taking to the streets, occupying squares and starting to have people's assemblies. With the authority of the political parties and unions fading, they have started to take things in their own hands. Also in the Netherlands we have seen some of these assemblies taking place, initially at the Dam square in Amsterdam, but later on also in Groningen, Delft, Rotterdam, Tilburg.
We call on everyone, who is in solidarity with the people in Europe rising up and who wants to think about how to move on in the Netherlands, to join us for a protest-gathering and open assembly at the Dam Square, Amsterdam, on Sunday 10th July at 17:00.