The annual conference of the EuroMemo group took place in Poznan, Poland, from 28-30 September 2012 (http://www.euromemo.eu/annual_workshops/2012_poznan.html). For the first time ever, the group decided to prepare a joint declaration. The resolution of solidarity with the peoples of Greece, Spain and Portugal, mobilizing against the austerity policies imposed upon them, can be found below. We the conference participants are now asking people to circulate this declaration as widely as possible.
The EuroMemo Group declares its solidarity with the peoples of Greece, Spain and Portugal mobilizing against a so-called European policy imposed against their own elementary interests
We support your mobilization in protest against the policies currently imposed on your countries! What a coalition of the international financial communities with a group of European countries led by Germany has been imposing upon you is no aid, but blatant attempts to shore up the banking system at your expense. This pushes your countries ever more deeply into a vicious cycle of austerity and recession.
We are being told that your countries “aren’t doing enough”. In reality, the combined forces of Northern European and of global ‘governance’ are imposing new ‘aid plans’ on your countries which pretend to ‘save you’ by abolishing workers’ rights, pushing the poor into extreme misery, and weakening the middle classes.
Yet we do know that these programmes will fail like the Structural Adjustment Programmes which have been imposed on countries of the Global South; and they will certainly be as harmful as the programmes based on the “Washington Consensus” which had devastating effects on the peoples of Middle and Eastern Europe in the 1990s.
The goal of these policies is not to “save” your countries. The idea, instead, is to gain time so as to save the creditors and shareholders, while pushing your countries to ever more austerity which may only be brought to an end by a default – with all its destructive consequences which will have the side-effect of reinforcing existing polarization and hierarchies in Europe. With the collusion of their political and economic elites, your countries are being turned into the experimental subject of a new kind of social and political change that will then be exported and applied to the rest of Europe.
For this neo-liberal offensive to achieve its goals, however, a regime must be set in place which will set aside most elementary democratic rights. Parliamentary regimes reverse directions, and the “people’s representatives” hand over power supposedly invested in them to ‘experts’ and bankers: nothing less than a coup d’État carried out in parliament.
All the measures taken to date have done nothing but undermine the sovereign debt of your countries, and as a result over the past years, that debt has exploded, instead of being reduced. The coercive, artificial deepening of the problem of sovereign debt has been used as a weapon with which to assault and seize your entire societies.
The model applied to Southern Europe in recent months is intended for all Europe, and even beyond, wherever conditions can be made similar. This is what is at stake in this situation, and this is why defending the people of Southern Europe cannot be reduced to an abstract gesture of solidarity: the future of democracy and the future of the peoples of Europe hang in the balance. Everywhere, the “commanding necessity” of a “painful but necessary” austerity will be presented to all of us as the way to escape the fate of the Southern Europeans — whereas in fact this austerity will lead us there directly.
Alternatives are really possible, and they are at hand: A restructured EU founded on solidarity, democracy and sustainability is still possible – and it will be in the interests of the peoples of all of Europe – South and North, both of them in similar ways.