Alter Summit Worklist
Solidarity with Greece
Dear Madam, dear Sir, dear friends and comrades,
As you know the EuroGroup will have its next meeting on May 9th.
After the blackmail (or the coup) against Greece and its elected government in July last year, it will now be essential that the first review of the current memorandum program is concluded quickly and successfully, since all Greek obligations have been met by Greece. The unjustified new demands put on the table by the IMF and by some EuroGroup members like the German Finance Minister, Herr Schäuble, ask for extra measures clearly going far beyond the July 2015 “agreement”, and in some cases even going beyond what can be done within the Greek constitution. These extra demands are clearly politically motivated and constitute another attempt at blackmailing Greece and its people.
Regardless our different views on the concrete politics of the present Greek government and on the future we wish for the EU, it will be necessary to block this new attempt at forcing the Greek government and Greece into a capitulation which can only end in a crash. We know about the limited role of signatures, but we want to use them for showing our protest against the ruling policy and our solidarity with the Greek people. We ask for signatures of individuals demanding a life in dignity for everyone.
If you want to sign the open letter to the leading representatives of the EU, as identified on the occasion of the past meeting with Barack Obama, please send an email to email@example.com before May 8th (specifying your first name and surname, your country and your municipality of residence, as well as your function or responsibility, if applicable).
The first signatures from Germany are:
Elmar Altvater, Berlin
Hans-Jürgen Bieling, Tübingen
Joachim Bischoff, Hamburg
Mario Candeias, Berlin
Judith Dellheim, Berlin
Jürgen Klute, Herne
Steffen Lehndorff, Duisburg
Thomas Sauer, Jena
Axel Troost, Leipzig
Frieder Otto Wolf, Berlin
Harald Wolf, Berlin
Andrea Ypsilanti, Frankfurt/Main
Gabi Zimmer, Werder
Judith Dellheim and Frieder Otto Wolf
to the Heads of State and Government of the European Union who participated in the ‘Small Summit’ with Barak Obama, David Cameron, François Hollande, Angela Merkel and Matteo Renzi.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Given your prominent roles as leaders in European politics, we turn to you regarding a matter of utmost urgency: preventing the suffocation of Greece and its democratically elected government under the crushing weight of continuously expanding demands by its negotiating partners.
The disastrous humanitarian situation in Greece has been public knowledge for quite some time now. Added to this predicament are the burdens the Greek population must carry with regard to the accommodation of and care for refugees arriving in the country. In this situation, Greece desperately needs the support of its European neighbours instead of renewed stifling austerity. Time is of the essence: if Greece is to implement any sort of crisis management policy at all, then immediate steps must be taken. At this point, it is by all means your responsibility to prevent the breakdown of democratic political agency in Greece!
In light of the problems described, Greece is in urgent need of additional financial resources. At the same time, an abandonment of the crisis strategy imposed on Greece is imperative. Like the first two programmes, the third bailout package represents the kind of drastic treatment that will benefit neither Greece nor its creditors. One particularly damaging element of the third bailout package are the excessive demands for short-term and mid-term budgetary targets, designed to achieve a primary surplus of 3.5 percent by 2018. To demand even more far-reaching austerity measures at this very point in time, following years of deprivation and economic decline, is not only unrealistic and economically senseless, but above all simply cannot be reasonably expected of the Greek people any longer.
We therefore urge you to oblige the relevant EU institutions and those responsible for future negotiations to put the following points into practice:
that all credit instalments agreed on with Greece be paid out as scheduled (and without the introduction of new demands for austerity measures) in order for Greece to meet repayment requirements.
that Greece receive additional financial assistance in order to cope with the humanitarian crisis of its own population and the refugees coming to Greece, and
that a restructuring of Greece’s debt to the extent that the burden of debt service becomes sustainable (long-term debt titles with low interest rates) be at least initiated before the end of 2016. Moreover, with view to the underlying assessment of Greece’s capacity for debt service, excessive targets concerning short- and mid-term budgets must be significantly lowered.