Debtocracy – essential viewing on the Greek debt crisis
Stocks and shares are tumbling this morning and all because banks, foreign governments and the EC controllers in Brussels pour scorn on the idea of the Greek people having any say on an economic crisis they had little part in creating. If ever evidence was needed that Democracy is slipping towards Debtocracy this is it.
If you’ve not watched the documentary movie ‘Debtocracy’ yet today would be as good a time as any. It is a brilliant piece of investigative citizen journalism which looks at the actual sources of the Greek debt crisis and suggests alternative narratives to EC-imposed austerity and bank bail outs.
In ‘Debtocracy’ the concept of “odious debt” is examined. This is the sort of bad debt which the US was happy to write off in Iran in 2003 because it had been run up by Saddam Hussein’s illegitimate regime, without the consent of the people, and was spent on activities which did not benefit the people. A precedent was set.
There is a powerful angry speech in this documetary from Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Even as late as 2010, with a massive debt crisis in full swing, Germany (Merkel at al) demanded that the Greek government did not cut arms expenditure but “cut pensions and social benefits instead”. Germany then sold Greece 6 subs costing 1billion euros.
Germany didn’t act alone. Sarkozy’s France sold Greece 3 billion euros worth of armaments including six frigates for 2.5billion euros. Greece also agreed to spend 1.2 billion on security for the Olympic Games. Money was easily found for non-essentials with EC goading. But was this expenditure legal or “odious debt”?
Sahra Wagenknecht, Deputy Chair of Die Linke, argues in the documentary: “Part of the national debts incurred in Eurozone countries is illegitimate because they resulted from policies against the people’s interests.”
Inspired by similar events in Ecuador, in March of this year a Campaign for a National Audit Committe was launched. One of its aims would be to determine how much of the current Greek debt was accrued through corrupt financial deals on the market, and whether these debts should be considered odious or legitimate.
The documentary goes into these things in detail. It raises questions which will be of interest beyond Greece. It’s well worth watching.
Above is the full speech from Daniel Cohn-Bendit to the European parliament regarding the Greek debt crisis (part of which is in Debtocracy). It’s a powerful angry speech. Skip to around 4’50 to learn the staggering hypocrisy of the French and German governments who continue to sell billions of armaments to Greece.