In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the western neo-liberal institutions imposed series of killer economic programs on most African countries, as well as South America and a large swathe of Asia that came to be known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). The late Prof. Bade Onimode, a foremost political economist called the SAPs ‘a declaration of war’ while late Prof. Aluko called it the ‘kiss of death’. Well, the same medicine is now being applied to the ailing economies of Southern Europe, with the most devastating outcome in Greece. But progressive Europe is fighting back:
THE DELPHI DECLARATION
On Greece and Europe
European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.
They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.
As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.
Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed, even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?
We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.
We also appeal to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.
We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.
Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.
We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.
More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open military conflicts among its nations.
Delphi, 21 June 2015
The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.
Altvater Elmar, Germany
Member of scientific community of AΤTAC. Retired Professor of Political Science, Free University of Berlin.
Amin Samir, Egypt/France
Economist, President of the Forum Mondial des Alternatives
Ayala Iván H., Spain
Researcher, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales
Arsenis Gerasimos, Greece
Εconomist, ex-minister of Economy, of Finance, of National Defense and of Education, ex-UN official and ex-director of UNCTAD
Artini Massimo, Italy
Member of Parliament
Bellantis Dimitris, Greece
Lawyer, PHD in Constitutional Law, Member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA
Black William, USA
Professor of Economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City)
Cassen Bernard, France
Professor Emeritus, Université Paris 8, secretary general of “Mémoire des luttes”
Chiesa, Giulietto, Italy
Politician, journalist and author, ex MEP, president of the “Alternativa” association
Freeman, Alan, Canada/UK
Geopolitical Economy Research Group, Business School, Director
Gabriel, Leo, Austria
Director of the Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation (IIIC), Vienna, Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, Coordinator of the NGO Committee for Sustainable Development of the United Nations
George, Suzan, France
Political and social scientist, writer, President of the Transnational Institute
Georgopoulos, Dimosthenis, Greece
Economist, sociologist, political scientist, Secretariat on Industrial Policy, SYRIZA
German, Lindsey, UK
Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Graeber, David, UΚ
Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics. Author of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”
Hudson, Michael, USA
Professor of economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City), UMKC. President, Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET)
Irazabalbeitia, Inaki, Spain
Former MEP / responsible for International Relationships for the party ARALAR, Basque Country
Jennar, Raoul Marc, France
Dr. in political sciences, specialist on European law and on WTO regulations, writer of twenty books, among them “Europe, la trahison des élites”
Kagarlitsky, Boris, Russia
Director of the Institute for globalization studies and social movements (IGSO)
Kalloniatis, Costas, Greece
Phd on macroeconomics, adviser to the Ministry of Labour, researcher in the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece
Kasimatis, Giorgos, Greece
Prof. Emeritus of Constitutional Law, University of Athens. Founder and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, ex-advisor to PM Andreas Papandreou.
Koenig, Peter, Switzerland
Εconomist / geopolitical analyst
Koltashov, Vasiliy, Russia
Head of the economic research unit of the Institute for Globalisation and Social Movements
Konstantakopoulos, Dimitris, Greece
Journalist, Writer, Coordinator of the Delphi Initiative
Koutsou, Nikos, Cyprus
Member of Parliament from Famagusta
Kreisel, Wilfried, Germany
Former Executive Director, World Health Organization
Mavros, Giannis, Greece
Member of the National Council for the Claiming of Germany’s Debts to Greece
Mityaev, Dmitry A. , Russia
Deputy Chairman of the Council for Study of Productive Forces of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Academy of Sciences on Development Issues
Ochkina, Anna, Russia
Head of Department of social theory at Penza State University
Pantelides, Panagiotis, Greece
Economist, senior researcher, European Institute of Cyprus
Petras, James, USA
Bartle Professor Emeritus , Binghamton University
Ex-Director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies (Athens), ex-adviser to the Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brasil and the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina
Pinasco, Luca, Italy
National coordinator of Proudhon Circles-Editor for foreign policy of the journal “L’intellettuale dissidente”.
Radika, Desai, USA
Professor, Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba
Rees, John, UK
Co-founder, Stop the War Coalition
Roberts, Paul Craig, USA
Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Sideratos, Aggelos, Greece
Sommers, Jeffrey, USA
Senior Fellow, Institute of World Affairs, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
St Clair, Jeffrey, USA
Editor, CounterPunch, author, Born Under a Bad Sky
Stierle, Steffen, Germany
Εconomist, ATTAC Germany
Syomin, Konstantin, Russia
Author, TV host at All-Russia State Television (VGTRK.com)
Tombazos, Stavros, Greece
Professor of Political Economy, University of Cyprus, member of the international “Committee of Truth on Greek Sovereign Debt” (debt auditing committee) created by the Greek parliament
Vanaik, Achin, India
Retired Professor of International Relations and Global Politics, University of Delhi
Xydakis, Nikos, Greece
Minister of Culture
Zachariev, Zachari, Bulgaria
President of the Slaviani Foundation
Zdanoka, Tatjana, Latvia
Member of European Parliament
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