The Unrepentant IMF!

IMFDespite the persistent effort of the Greek Media to present the report issued by the Independent Evaluation Office on July 8 (here is the full text), which examines the contribution of the IMF on the “rescue” plan of three countries (Greece, Ireland and Portugal) as a “public apology”, the facts belie them.

Leonidas Vatikiotis

In a prima facie look, the report sheds light on the weaknesses that characterized the IMF’s involvement in the eurozone. For instance, it highlights, the widely-held “Europe is different” mindset that encouraged the view that large imbalances in national current accounts were little cause for concern and that sudden stops could not happen within the euro area”… Reality and particularly the ECB cruelty (when e.g only a few days after the victory of Syriza in the elections of January 25, 2015, halted the ELA to the Greek banks) proved to be unpredictable even for the IMF criteria…
The report also refers to the two major decisions which determined the participation of the IMF in the program, which both violate the statutes of the organization: Participation without guaranteed sustainability of the Greek debt and introduction of systemic exclusion clause which was subsequently used to finance Ireland and Portugal.

Moreover, on page 20, paragraph 42, there is a revealing detail about the undemocratic way which IMF works. «The way in which the second criterion was modified lacked transparency (de Las Casas, 2016). The proposal to change the exceptional access framework was embedded in the staff report for the Greek SBA request, and Executive Directors received no advance notice that such a change was forthcoming. While several Board members had noticed the two sentences tucked into the text on Greece’s overall adherence to the exceptional access criteria, few recognized the implications of the language until one of them raised the issue during the meeting. Otherwise, the decision would have been approved without the Board’s full knowledge «! This incident refutes the allegation of equal participation of Member States’ representatives in the IMF. Instead it reveals that the reins of the organization holds a small team that discusses and decides in secret, using the official bodies of the IMF only to validate the decisions that  legitimize its action. Sometimes even in retrospect, as happened in this case.

A special mention deserves on the role of the European Central Bank which is described as «highly controversial» (page 44, paragraph 107). The Independent Evaluation Office highlights the conflict interest implicit in the decision of the ECB to sit on the same side of the table with the IMF, as it was one of the creditors of Greece. The report, indirectly but clearly, criticizes the ECB’s decision to exclude the Greek bonds that it held by the Frankfurt haircut imposed through the restructuring of Greek bonds on 2012, which is known as PSI.

And this is just the tip of the thread…  Other interesting points of the report includes the reveal of the authors about …nonexistent documents! Writes verbatim (paragraph 10, page 5): «The IEO did not have full access to confidential IMF documents in a timely manner. IMF staff cooperated in providing a large volume of internal documents to the IEO, but it was learned that many documents were prepared outside the regular, established channels (and sometimes retained in personal files); written documentation on some sensitive matters, even with the help of generous staff resources, could not be located». IMF, the kingdom of secret diplomacy and dirty secrets…

Despite of all the aforementioned, the report of the Independent Evaluation Office ultimately legitimizes and does not deconstructs the underlying rationale of its functioning that was reflected in the Memoranda. IEO’s rationale is far behind even from criticisms that for instance were put forward by Professor Olivier Blanchard, in July 2015, the then Economic Counselor of the Fund, who has had highlighted three aspects: First, that the “Greek programs’ only served to raise debt and demanded excessive fiscal adjustment”. Second, that “the financing was used to repay foreign banks” and last but not least, that “growth-killing structural reforms, together with fiscal austerity have led to an economic crisis».

Today, the complaints of Prof. Blanchard, sounds much more reasonable than ever. Nothing proved him right better that the cumulative decline in investment from 2007 to 2015 by 40 billion euro or 66%, which predicts the further extension of the current recession. The interpretative factors of this decline are the raising taxes, the increasing capital costs and reduced funding. Three reasons that are the immediate result of the Memoranda’s policies. Another proof of his theory is the reduction of exports (excluding fuel) by 6.4% in May 2016 compared to the previous’ year which depicts the weakness of the international markets to act as counterbalance to declining domestic demand. Last proof but not least, is the plunge of the public revenues in July, creating a gap in relation to the provisions of half a billion euro, just a few days after the new reduction of pensions.

The Evaluation Office report has nothing to say about the social effects of the measures proposed by the IMF, like the increase of the unemployment to 25% (which is a European record) or the immigration of 500.000 youth well-educated scientists by majority, or the explosion of poverty. IOE criticizes the delay in the implementation of its policies. Thus, in the last chapter, the first recommendation is: «The Executive Board and management should develop procedures to minimize the room for political intervention in the IMF’s technical analysis.» On the same wavelength and moves the second recommendation too, declaring the further autonomy of the Fund: «The Executive Board and management should strengthen existing processes to ensure that agreed policies are followed and they are not changed without careful deliberation.» Within the report there are numerous references to «little progress» made in privatization (before the recent sell-off of ports and airports from the government of Syriza which has been transformed to the exemplary pupil of IMF) and reforming the labor market (paragraph 70), due to the «strong domestic opposition and social and political instability» ( paragraph 83).

In fact, the resistance to the neoliberal agenda of IMF and EU came from parts of society which were invited to pay the price of a policy that had no legitimacy and transferred the cost of fiscal adjustment on the weakest. This policy was also turned out to be extremely inefficient, at least on the basis of what it promised, eg solving financial crisis. For instance, the Greek sovereign debt on 2015 increased since 2012 in absolute numbers (from 305 bn. euros to 311 bn.) and as a percentage too (from 160% of GDP to 177%)! It’s an epic failure in terms of nominal aims but it’s a triumph while it achieved the demolition of the post-war welfare state.

As a conclusion, the principle aim of the Independent Evaluation Office report was to consecrate the IMF austerity policy and not to reveal its organic weaknesses and inconsistencies or the huge social cost…

Greece: From sovereign debt crisis to the default of political system, the alternative of a constitutional assembly (Barcelona, 19.7.2014)

CAT

(Ομιλία στο 5ο διεθνές συνέδριο που πραγματοποιήθηκε στην Βαρκελώνη στις 19 και 20 Ιουλίου, με θέμα την συντακτική εξουσία. Περισσότερα εδώ)

As it is known, draconian austerity measures in Greece began 4 years ago, on May of 2010. Half a year before, on October of 2009, Greek Left tasted one of its worst surprises, when it saw Greek bipartisanship on the early elections to gain one of its biggest percentages of the last decades (77%, i.e. 44% social democratic PASOK and 33% the rightwing party of New Democracy). However, the height of their triumph coincided with the end. During these 5 years their political influence has collapsed. On the recent European Parliament elections both of these parties gained 30% and now it’s a common secret that both of them are in a process to change leaders, even title for their parties. The only thing that no one knows is the form of this transformation. So, an initial conclusion is that Greece is under a double crisis: economic and political too.

Let me present some data, which describe the deep transformations in economy under the current crisis. During these years, with the help of Troika (the EU and the IMF) and with the unanimously opinion of the elite of the Greek ruling class (mainly bankers and ship-owners):

 Unemployment has reached 27% surpassing even the Spanish record,

 Among the unemployed only a 10% receives any kind of benefit.

 Salaries have been reduced by an average by 40% as never again happened in a such short period.

 Among the “lucky people” who are working, 1 out of 3 is being paid with a delay of more than 6 months.

 Taxes among employees have skyrocketed. Real estate taxes since 2009 have increased by 700%.

 GDP has reduced since 2008, when crisis appeared by 21% which is a global record for peaceful times.

 Tens of thousands of young scientists and university graduates have migrated to North Europe, especially to Germany, and to the Middle East.

 More than 250.000 small, medium and even big enterprises have closed and 200.000 more will close this year and the next one, changing radically the very typical south-European social structure from a ball-shaped which, dominated through all over the post-war period, to a pyramid-shaped one.

At the other side, Greek banks since 2008 have been subsidized with 211 bn. Euros, which equals to 115% of current GDP. In other words we became witnesses of an unprecedented transfer of social wealth from the vast majority of society to the bourgeois class and among them to the most parasitic part. In this process public debt has been proved the perfect alibi hiding the transfer of crisis cost to the working class. As a result, anything but accidentally, sovereign debt, since crisis appeared, and despite the biggest default of last decades (of nominal worth of 105 bn. Euros on March of 2012) public debt has been increased since 2009 as a percentage (from 129% of GDP to 175%) and as an amount too (from 299 to 321 bn. Euros).

The aforementioned social cost wasn’t an unwanted development, an accident or a fault, as usually IMF says apologizing, neither a collateral damage. It was the principal aim. It’s a measure of its success, the other, the dark side of the Troika’s aim to construct an “economy of supply” replacing the current “economy of demand”, which, by their own words, has reached its limits and is characterized as outdated. Economies of supply mean the abolition of working rights, social security, environmental protection, regional cohesion even the tax obligations of big capital and much more the multinational capital.

If we want to predict more thoroughly the next day, both in political and economic terms, we must describe the roots of this crisis. In brief, this crisis was a capitalist crisis. It was triggered off the financial crisis of 2008, was exacerbated by public finance derailment, deteriorated by the participation in the EU and the Eurozone, but its roots are traced in falling rate of profit which caused the crisis of 70’s, ending the flourishing post-war period, the “thirty glorious” years. Having in mind the systemic character of the crisis and its persistence through so many decades should be obvious the violent receipt that ruling class should propose. In addition, we can agree that financial regulation (for example separation of investment from retail banking institutions or lowering of the leverage) can’t solve it.

Speaking about the Greek “political lab”, which looks like little or more with the whole periphery of EU, in political life too are promoted equally violent and radical receipts. In brief, I would characterize the plan for the next day as a more intensive turn to political reaction. (Like what is happening in economy, where the receipt is much more Reaganism, much more Thatcherism).

What is happening with the neo-Nazi party of Golden Dawn is very characteristic. Government’s efforts to get it out of law, since September of 2013 when the Golden Dawn killed an antifascist young singer, have failed because Golden Dawn increased its power in parallel with unemployment and poverty. To remind that GD on the elections of 2009 gained a marginal percentage of 0.29% (20.000 votes) and 3 years later on May of 2012 gained 6.97% (441.000 votes). At the recent EP elections gained 9.39% (537.000 votes). So, we can say that GD is an original creation of austerity policies, IMF and European Union. The obvious question, why we didn’t have a similar phenomenon in other crisis-hit countries, has a double response. Firstly, in no other country such a violent austerity program was imposed and, secondly, due to the Greek history. Greece was the sole country where the collaborators of Nazi have never been prosecuted. In Greece the resistance forces were prosecuted and communist Left remained out of law untill 1974… In other words Greek ruling class has an historical, intrinsic tendency to fascism and totalitarianism.

The developments in Greece, with the rise of racist Right, don’t differ a lot from other countries. In France, UK and Nordic countries too, we saw during the recent EP elections, racist parties to endorse public anger against austerity. Partially, due to hesitation of the Left to combat EU and social democracy’s total incorporation to EU mechanisms. This gap was filled by parties of extreme right which reflect bourgeoisie, nationalistic and not popular interests.

The turn to political reaction, which is a permanent tendency, isn’t created only by economic reality.

Political reasons as well, lead to the same direction. I highlight two of them: First, the downgrading of current bourgeoisie democracy by means of the continuous violations of constitution and the degradation of parliament or legislative branch in favor of executive branch, according to the classical division of powers. Only one example: The first loan agreement of 2010 (110 bn. euros) has never been ratified by Greek parliament, while the second one of 2012 (109 bn.) caused a rebellion among professors of public law who supported that it was a bomb on the foundations of constitutional order.

The second political reason that leads to political reaction is EU. To remind that on November of 2011 in Greece and Italy too, Merkel and Sarkozy caused a coup, overthrowing the elected Prime ministers (Papandreou and Berlusconi). On their place they appointed two technocrats from the banking industry (Papademos and Monti). To broaden parliamentarian base of Papademos, Fourth Reich in Greece imposed a coalition government with the participation, for first time, of a light far right party (LAOS). When EU was legitimizing far right pressing political establishment for its participation in the government, why a pure far right party (like the criminal gang of GD) not to enter into the Parliament? The last example that shows EU’s responsibility is the undermining of sovereignty by EU and concretely Commission. Transfer of powers from elected governments to EU, storm of incorporation of EU laws to national law and the appointment in Greece and in Cyprus too, bodies of foreign technocrats (Task Force) to reform public administration have transformed indebted countries to post modern debt colonies of Germany, reminding Nazi occupation.

Future EU’s agenda is a cause of worry, too. I stress the following obligations:

 the commitment for balanced budgets,

 the penalties for those countries that keep deficits,

 the monitoring for those countries that owe to other EU countries till pay off the 75% of their debt, and many more.

All these have been introduced by Fiscal Pact and Euro Plus Pact (2011), even by the form of constitutional amendments. This was a decision of European Council. To stress, that crucial parts of this reactionary arsenal (like package of reforms Two and Six Pack) have been voted by European Parliament, showing that even the elected European Parliament can’t be a counterweight to the appointed and apparently undemocratic European Commission. By my opinion, European Left should learn from Latin American Left which has rejected any kind of economic integration with United States as an imperialist project. European Left must reject totally European Union integration, as a German and big business project. The necessary economic integration, which will achieve economies of scale, should be built, before anything else, on different social and political foundations, excluding countries that are characterized by so big productivity records, like Germany. At the same time will embody the countries of North Africa or Middle East with which our own countries have common historical ties.

Bearing in mind, capital’s furiousness to ask for constitutional amendments as a means to secure the exclusion of any kind of redistribution policy, we must recognize that our demand for a constitutional reform, per se, doesn’t make the difference. In Greece, the most conservative political centers (the industrialists’ federation, for example) ask insistently a constitutional reform, as a means for the abolition of the articles that describe the full employment or the provision of public health and education to all the citizens as state’s duty. Their aim is to transform the exceptional state of emergency, which has emerged the last years under the shock therapy of Memoranda, as a constitutional order. Furthermore, they strive to penalize strikes and political struggles for social change.

The demand of a constituent assembly is obviously …something more than the amendments under discussion due to the deep diving line that draws, defining a restart of the political system. Even in this case, in my own opinion, constituent assembly as a turning point is a necessary but not sufficient condition to end the crisis and instability of current political system, from a popular point of view, allowing and ensuring a radical social and political change. The determinant conditions for ensuring that deepening social and class inequality, increasing poverty and permanent hungry will remain definitely to the past of modern societies are two: The first one is politics.

The second one is social struggles and the re-appearance of a new labor movement. Both of them are met on the demand of changes in the direction of improving the working and living conditions of social majority, at the expense of capital. A political demand and struggle is that one which aspires to changes at national level opposite to an economic demand which is limited to a region, a factory or industrial sector. Our ambition must be victories at universal level, which will be applied to everyone by law, and not a partial level. (It’s an aim opposite to John Holloway’s thesis “to change the world without taking power”).

In this frame we must look forward to a new generation of constitutions that will embody social and working rights and will be the response of social majority to the new aggressive agenda of European capital. I highlight the following crucial issues, among many others, which must be contained in a constitution like this:

1. Unilateral cancelation of public debt, starting from Troika’s (official) debt which represents the epitome of odious, illegal and illegitimate debt. Tool of citizen’s (and not generally public) audit can provide the necessary documentation, according to international law, for its abolition.

2. Nationalization of banks and companies of strategic importance

3. Reduction of working hours (with no reduction to salaries) as a means to reduce unemployment and facilitate people’s participation on common.

4. Abolition of indirect and any popular taxes (first residence for example), generous taxation of capital, especially on multinational companies.

5. Prohibition of any kind of privatizations, cancelling of previous ones, constitutional armoring of public property.

6. Exclusively public, free of charge and high quality education, health and social security.

7. Abolition of any kind of privileges to those who are dealt with public affairs. Their compensation shouldn’t surpass basic salary. (In Greece has been reduced to 480 euro).

8. Representative recall as a means to halt the current total absence of accountability, among two elections.

9. Punishment of those politicians who have voted at favor of banks’ rescue and austerity programs that caused current humanitarian crisis.

10. Exit from Eurozone, EU and NATO which must be characterized as imperialist organizations that represent capital interests, hostile to the people.

At the end, I want to point out that even the most progressive constitution (which reflects class balance of a period) can be marginalized from politics, having no impact in daily live. Only social struggles, combative strikes against capital and governments can guarantee that working people can appropriate the social wealth, building a society without exploitation, poverty and alienation.

PSI: Neo-colonial loan agreement (Prin, March 24 2012)

On Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 Greek Parliament voted 213 to 79 in favor of incorporating the new loan agreement, a purely neo-colonial document, into Greek law.  As long as this agreement is valid, Greece turns to a pariah state. When Greece defaults for the second time, terms and conditions described by this document will come into force, deepening the country’s submission.

A  characteristic of the unequal relationship forged by the loan agreement is that our creditors can claim their money back, in its entirety, at any moment.

 EFSF may, by written notice to the Beneficiary Member State, cancel the Facility and/or declare the aggregate principal amount of all Financial Assistance Amounts made and outstanding hereunder to be immediately due and payable, together with accrued interest, if:

the Beneficiary Member State or the Bank of Greece shall fail to pay any amount of principal or interest in relation to any Financial Assistance or any other amounts due under this Agreement on its due date, whether in whole or in part, in the manner and currency as agreed in this Agreement

Repayment of the new loan is granted absolute priority. Greece agrees “not to grant to any other creditor or holder of its sovereign debt any priority over EFSF”.

This means that Greece will never return to the markets. Since it is obvious to every investor that the official sector has absolute seniority, they will never lend their money to Greece, knowing that they will be the last to get repaid and the first to lose out.

The official Greek default of March 9th, a non-voluntary event involving the activation of Collective Action Clauses, caused exactly what used to be held out as a threat, whenever the left and the social movements called for unilateral payment halt: Risk averse markets shunning Greece.

Russia’s 1998 default and Argentina’s 2002 default may well prove quicker ways back to the markets than the Greek approach of letting creditors ensure public debt sustainability.

Firstly, the fact that individual bondholders were not compensated for their losses blocks internal lending. Secondly, official sector (EU member states, ECT, IMF) seniority blocks the way to the markets. This is unprecedented for a developed country and it turns Greece into a eurozone/Fourth Reich colony. A new “state bankruptcy law” is emerging, as tool of the modern day totalitarian capitalism, downgrading sovereign states to second class states.

Also, dramatic consequences will result from the fact that the new Greek bonds, valued at 46,5% of the nominal value of the previous bonds, will not be under Greek law. “This Agreement and any non-contractual obligations arising out of or in connection with it shall be governed by and shall be construed in accordance with English law. (2) The Parties undertake to submit any dispute which may arise relating to the legality, validity, interpretation or performance of this Agreement to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg.»

This will complicate any future attempt of the Greek state to change the terms of the bonds without full prior consent of the creditors. This is a suicidal term, preventing the government from using the legal tools that even the creditor friendly Papademos government activated in order to turn an insufficient voluntary participation to the bond swap into a coercive one.

The guarantee offered to creditors is in fact a contract hedging currency risk. “All payments to be made by the Beneficiary Member State shall be paid in euro” means Greek bonds are insulated from any future currency change in Greece, irrespective of whether change results from popular struggle or from a Berlin decision. Important legal struggles will ensue, contrary to what could happen with household or small business loans, which could be redenominated into the new currency with a simple government decision, so as to avoid the consequences of overvalued loans.

The aforementioned  negative changes do not take away the rights of a sovereign state on its bonds but they make exercising those rights more difficult.

What drives Greece into a corner is the term forcing the Greek government to waive sovereign immunity, thus allowing creditors to confiscate state assets.

The Beneficiary Member State and the Bank of Greece hereby irrevocably and unconditionally waive all immunity to which each of them is or may become entitled, in respect of itself or its assets, from legal proceedings in relation to this Agreement, including, without limitation, immunity from suit, judgment or other order, from attachment, arrest or injunction prior to judgment, and from execution and enforcement against its assets to the extent not prohibited by mandatory law.”

Based on this article, creditors can easily confiscate state assets, if not inside Greece, where decisions must still be based on national law, then easily abroad, wherever there are Greek assets- for example in the vaults of the British Central Bank or the Fed, where the Greek Central Bank stores most of its gold.

Greek sovereign debt crisis and Ecuador (Speech in Quito, 15/2/2012)

Firstly, I would like to thank you very much for the invitation to this very interesting congress. Your ambitious effort for the formation of a financial architecture different to the IMF’s shows that there are real alternatives to the nightmare without end that the peoples in the peripheral countries of Europeare currently living in. I’m speaking about Greece, Portugal and Ireland and as of late, Italy and Spain.

The common element in all these cases is a very big public debt and an equally big budget deficit which, in the aftermath of crisis of 2008, was characterized as unbearable and unviable. Under the threat of imminent derailment of public finance (something that actually was never proved to happen) during the last two years, Europe lives under the iron heel of the most severe, the most inhuman austerity measures that have been imposed in our region since the post war period.

I’m describing their common characteristics:

  • Cuts in social spendings and especially to health, education, social security and transportation
  • Cuts in wages, salaries and pensions
  • Privatizations of public utilities (water, energy, etc.) and a massive sell-off of public property, and
  • Increases in every kind taxes that are paid by the people.

These measures are deeply unjust because the roots of this current crisis aren’t in the generous welfare state of these countries which never had high wages or well-equipped hospitals.

The root of the current sovereign debt crisis must be trailed to the following causes. I’m speaking specifically forGreece, in the sense that these causes aren’t the same with other eurozone countries that suffer from bail-out mechanisms. In any case there are serious similarities between all these countries.

  • Tax cuts for the rich and the private sector, in the context of a neo-liberal agenda that has been imposed since 80’s throughout the world. But especially in continentalEuropeits implementation started in the 90’s under the Maastricht Treaty which laid the fundamentals for the eurozone.
  • Current payments for the servicing of the debt. For example Greece (with a GDP of 212 bn of euro, according the state budget) during 2012, which is the fifth consecutive year of recession, will pay 87 bn of euros for servicing of debt when tax revenues will be 53 bn and will give for education 5,7 bn and for public health 4,8 bn. Looking at the previous years, Greece during the last two decades has paid for the servicing of the debt twice the amount of the debt in its today level of 360 bn euros.
  • Increasing military spending through all the EU countries which serve the imperialistic plans ofGermany. EspeciallyGreeceas a result of the turkish enemity and demands of NATO gives a scandalous, totally disproportionate percentage of its budget for military spending.

It is obvious that if someone wanted to confront the sovereign debt crisis one should confront the previous reasons: i.e. increasing the taxes of rich and corporates, to stop servicing the debt and reduce the military spending.

In spite of these possible solutions, the European ruling classes imposed the most brutal austerity packages and, at the same time, gave huge amounts to the banks, leading to the explosion of the fiscal problems. For example in Greece the first bail-out loan was 110 bn of euros, but at the same time the Greek finance minister has made available for Greek banks 155 bn of euros, either in the form of cash or in the form of guarantees. As a result Greek debt which was 115% when government decided to call on the IMF is now 165%!!!

Just the same happened inIrelandwhen the government announced the bail-out of the private banks. In this way, nationalizing the private losses, the Irish government led a public debt of 30% of GDP to the sky: 130%. The hypocrisy of the European (centre-left and right-wing too) governments could be seen inSpainwhere the public debt (61% of GDP) is significantly lower, even to that ofGermany(83%) in the 2010.

And after of all this, the European Commission contests that the rescue programmes failed because they have not been implemented with the adequate strictness. So they ordered increased instalments of the same poisonous medicine. It is striking that this doesn’t happen only inGreece, which is characterised as a bad pupil due to the combating heritage of the labour movement and the Left. In Greece failure was observed before anyone else because Greece was the first to face the test of IMF and EU conditionality in May of 2010, in the northern hemisphere and specifically in Eurozone. But now the exact same failure can be seen inPortugalwhich entered the bail-out mechanism in May of 2011, where the interest rates have reached the record level of 14% and the government discusses withBerlina new bail out loan!

After of all this, there is a question: Can we speak about failure even inGreecewhere the last memorandum of understanding which accompanies the new loan of 130 bn of euros is the seventh from May of 2010 when the first one was signed?

By my opinion, no! The bail-out plans had no intention to save the Greek or Irish economy and even less to secure or improve the living standard of Portuguese or Spanish people. The aim was to close the parenthesis that opened in the first post war period, whenEuropecovered in the shame of colonialism, bought out the labour movement with the welfare state. In this struggle, (which embodies the response of capital to the current structural crisis) the ruling classes – governments and financial organisations, like IMF and ECB  – use debt as a very good opportunity for paralysing peoples’ reactions.

The response of the big majority, of the 99% to use a current political terminology, must be the following slogan that is said in every square of Greece: we don’t owe, we don’t pay we don’t sell.

In this struggle, the audit of public debt offers a huge help as it contributes to the de-ligimitation of the public-debt. By asking to open up the books of debt, as primarily a struggle from within the social movement, and not coming from the technocrats, we have cancelled the methods of shock and awe that are based on the ignorance of the people. In this struggle there is something else that is also very significant: The living example of countries like Ecuador which refused to accept the orders of the creditors. Respecting the very big political, economical and historical differences, we want to do just the same thing in Greece and all the other eurozone counties that are on the brink of collapse because of their indebtedness.

Nowadays Ecuador’s example is much more of a teaching than a year ago, when we were making the film Debtocracy and showed to Greeks and other people that TINA (there is not alternative) had died in the Andean heights. Now, the Greek drama has shown that every solution that is based in the compromise and the negotiations with the creditors and the international financial organisations leads to unemployment, poverty, neocolonial loan agreements, police brutality, constitutional coup d’etats and finally at default. At the other side cessation of payments and debtor-led defaults may be the first scene, our first success in this, long duration play to overthrow the attack of capital.