October 19, 2012 - No. 131
Senate Bill on Implementation of
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Harper Government's Exceptionalism
• Harper Government's Exceptionalism
- Dorothy-Jean O'Donnell
Nobel Peace Prize
Given to European Union
• A Wasted Nobel (Excerpts) - Atilio
• People Heroically Persist in Opposing
• Greece-Germany: Who Owes Who? -
Senate Bill on Implementation of
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Harper Government's Exceptionalism
The more the Harper government integrates Canada into
States of North American Monopolies, the more it declares that
exceptional circumstances permit it to violate international laws and
well-established conventions. There is no such thing as sovereign
decision-making power over crucial questions
of war and peace and other fundamental aspects of life when Canada is
under U.S. military command and homeland security and belongs to NORAD
and NATO. One of the latest examples of the Harper government's
recourse to exceptionalism is Bill S-10, An Act to implement the
Convention on Cluster
The Convention on Cluster Munitions came into force in
2010 and has
111 state signatories as of June of this year. It prohibits all use,
stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Section 21
of the Convention makes provisions for a specific exception, namely
when state parties find themselves in
joint military operations with states that are not a party to the
Convention. Section 21 provides a clarification of the duties of
Convention signatories under such circumstances. Section 21 was
allegedly included so as to achieve the widest possible adoption of the
Section 21 of the Convention states:
"1. Each State Party shall encourage States not party to
Convention to ratify, accept, approve or accede to this Convention,
with the goal of attracting the adherence of all States to this
"2. Each State Party shall notify the governments of all
party to this Convention, referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article,
of its obligations under this Convention, shall promote the norms it
establishes and shall make its best efforts to discourage States not
party to this Convention from using cluster
"3. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 1 of this
and in accordance with international law, States Parties, their
military personnel or nationals, may engage in military cooperation and
operations with States not party to this Convention that might engage
in activities prohibited to a State Party.
"4. Nothing in paragraph 3 of this Article shall
authorise a State Party:
(a) To develop, produce or otherwise acquire cluster
(b) To itself stockpile or transfer cluster munitions;
(c) To itself use cluster munitions; or
(d) To expressly request the use of cluster munitions in
the choice of munitions used is within its exclusive control."
Despite making some allowances, it is clear the spirit
of Article 21
of the Convention is for signatory states to not only themselves uphold
the Convention but to discourage at every possible opportunity the use
of cluster munitions by any non-signatory state.
Bill S-10 is the means by which the Harper government is
Canada ratify the Convention in a manner that makes it exempt from
upholding its aim -- the elimination of the use of cluster bombs. A
Senate bill, it was tabled in the upper house on April 25 and is
currently at second reading. Section 11
of Bill S-10 specifically addresses the issue of "interoperability,"
such as the integration of Canada's military with that of the U.S. or
with other NATO forces. Such "interoperability" has been a buzzword in
the push for a North American Security Perimeter and also within NATO
as the aggressive alliance seeks
to enlarge itself.
Bill S-10 treats Article 21 of the Convention as an
Section 11 of Bill S-10 effectively permits any contravention of the
Convention if Canadian Forces are operating with "allies." Obviously,
the most notorious of those "allies" is the United States.
While the discussion of Bill S-10 is taking place in the
with genteel parliamentary decorum, the issues at stake regarding
Section 11 are important for all Canadians.
According to the Parliamentary Legislative Summary,
has 12,600 cluster munitions, withdrawn from active service as of 2007.
But this does not mean Canada has abandoned the use of cluster
munitions. Foreign Minister Baird told the Senate Committee on October
there are currently "about 100" Canadian Forces personnel whose
activities are directly covered
by what he calls the Section 11 "exception." These are Canadian Forces
operating under US military command.
In a recent open letter from 23 legal scholars addressed
to the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, it was pointed out that Article 21 of
the Convention, the "interoperability" clause, does not provide for
"exceptions" but is meant for clarification. Commentators have called
the draft ratification in Bill S-10 "the
worst in the world" amongst those States which have ratified the
Convention, and have argued that Section 11 of the bill could itself
constitute a violation of the Cluster Munitions Convention.
Canadians have every reason to be
concerned about the
pressure being exerted by the Harper government to undermine
international law and make the Canadian forces further subservient to
the imperialist ambitions and practices of the U.S. Military.
Section 11 of Bill S-10 should be struck or completely
rewritten in keeping with the spirit of the Convention.
Canada should get out of NATO, and sever joint military
agreements with the U.S., both overt and covert.
Canada should be a force for peace in international
boldly asserting that there are alternatives to the use of force to
resolve disputes between and within nation states.
To fulfil the mandate of the United Nations to "save
generations from the scourge of war," an anti-war government is
necessary, not a war government that engages in aggression and crimes
in the name of self-serving definitions of what constitutes prosperity,
democracy and human rights.
For Your Information -- Section 11 of Bill S-10
Exceptions — military
cooperation or combined military operations
11. (1) Section 6 does not prohibit a person who is
subject to the
Code of Service Discipline under any of paragraphs 60(1)(a) to (g) and
(j) of the National Defence Act or who is an employee as defined in
subsection 2(1) of the Public Service Employment Act, in the course of
military cooperation or combined
military operations involving Canada and a state that is not a party to
the Convention, from
(a) directing or authorizing an activity that may
involve the use,
acquisition, possession, import or export of a cluster munition,
explosive submunition or explosive bomblet by the armed forces of that
state or that may involve moving that munition by those armed forces
from a foreign state or territory to another
foreign state or territory with the intent to transfer ownership of and
control over it;
(b) expressly requesting the use of a cluster munition,
submunition or explosive bomblet by the armed forces of that state if
the choice of munitions used is not within the exclusive control of the
Canadian Forces; or
(c) using, acquiring or possessing a cluster munition,
submunition or explosive bomblet, or moving that munition from a
foreign state or territory to another foreign state or territory with
the intent to transfer ownership of and control over it, while on
attachment, exchange or secondment, or serving
under similar arrangement, with the armed forces of that state.
Exception — transport
(2) Section 6 does not prohibit a person, in the course
cooperation or combined military operations involving Canada and a
state that is not a party to the Convention, from transporting or
engaging in an activity related to the transport of a cluster munition,
explosive submunition or explosive bomblet
that is owned by, in the possession of or under the control of that
Exception — if act of other
person not an offence
(3) Section 6 does not prohibit a person, in the course
cooperation or combined military operations involving Canada and a
state that is not a party to the Convention, from
(a) aiding, abetting or counselling another person to
commit any act
referred to in paragraphs 6(a) to (d), if it would not be an offence
for that other person to commit that act;
(b) conspiring with another person to commit any act
referred to in
paragraphs 6(a) to (d), if it would not be an offence for that other
person to commit that act; or
(c) receiving, comforting or assisting another person,
that other person has committed, or has aided or abetted in the
commission of, any act referred to in paragraphs 6(a) to (d), for the
purpose of enabling that other person to escape, if it was not an
offence for that other person to commit that act.
1. Open Letter to Minister of
Foreign Affairs John Baird, Re: Bill
S-10 -- The proposed Canadian Legislation to Implement the Convention
Cluster Munitions. To view letter and signatories, click here.
Nobel Peace Prize Given to European Union
A Wasted Nobel (Excerpts)
Scenes from recent
anti-austerity protests in Portugal,
Spain, Italy and Greece.
If something was lacking to fully discredit the Nobel
Peace Prize, awarded by the Norwegian Parliament, it was the decision
to award this distinction to the European Union. This award was
established in the Will of Swedish magnate Alfred Nobel to reward "the
person who shall have done the most or the best
work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of
standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
With the awarding of the Nobel Peace to Barack Obama
(2009), it could be perceived that the Norwegian Parliament was more
concerned with its country befriending the United States -- let's be
friends! -- than with really rewarding those who fight for peace. Now
it has done the same with the European Union,
which in two successive referendums the Norwegian people have refused
to join. How can an organization that, at present, has declared war on
its people by imposing a brutal adjustment policy that sacrifices its
people to save the bankers be rewarded? Can the condemnation of
millions of people to unemployment,
prostitution, extreme poverty, the shattering of their hopes be
rewarded as a peaceful gesture? Or is it a joke or an insult to the
intelligence of the international community. Who could forget that the
European Union has ratified and supported the criminal U.S. blockade
against Cuba, in 1996 sanctioning a "common
position" designed to strengthen the island's suffering in line with
Washington's directives? What about the support the EU is giving to the
U.S. imperialist military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and
now Syria, or its scandalous silence before the Rwandan genocide, or
its complicity with racist colonialism
by the state Israel and its criminal policy towards the Palestinian
nation, or their indifference to the plight of the Sahrawis, or supine
response to the death and destruction sown by the United States in the
war in the Balkans? As [1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner] Adolfo
Pérez Esquivel pointed out, this award seems
destined to conceal and/or justify military operations that the EU,
through NATO, carries out in the most remote corners of the planet,
always as the White House's caboose.
Amid the deep economic crisis that has weakened it, the
Greek government requested postponing arms purchases from Germany and
France. The request was flatly rejected by Berlin and Paris. The
adjustment must be made in wages and government spending in general,
but not in the military budget and, above
all, in the amounts allocated to acquire weapons from European
countries, who today are rewarded for their contribution to peace! In
fact, France, Germany and Britain, together with the United States and
Russia, are part of the exclusive club of the five biggest arms dealers
in the world. Strange way to promote
the abolition or reduction of standing armies, as Alfred Nobel wanted.
Norwegian parliamentarians urgently need someone to
teach them the difference between war and peace. They should memorize
the Swedish industrialist's Will, because in view of this background,
as summarized above, to reward the EU can only be seen as a grotesque
act of submission to the military agreement
between the U.S. and the EU and a "carte blanche" for NATO to continue
committing all kinds of crimes and mischief aimed at strengthening the
global imperialist domination.
People Heroically Persist in
Opposing "Austerity Measures"
of German Chancellor's Visit
The visit to Greece of
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
on October 9 was met by some 300,000 protesters brandishing banners
reading "You are not welcome, Imperialisten
Raus" (Imperialists out)
and "No to the Fourth Reich." Underscoring how the Greek people view
the current German Chancellor, four
people dressed in World War II-era German military uniforms and riding
on a small jeep, waved black-white-and-red swastika flags and raised
their hands in the fascist salute. Other banners read "Merkel out,
Greece is not your colony" and "This is not a European Union, it's
slavery." The protest also took place
in defiance of a ban on public gatherings and marches in most of
central Athens from 9 am to 10 pm, "for reasons of public safety and to
preserve the social and economic life of the capital."
Some 6,000 police officers were deployed for Merkel's
six-hour visit, including anti-terrorist units and rooftop snipers.
In the northern city of Thessaloniki, some 700
protesters also rallied outside the German consulate.
The protests expressed the people's vehement
rejection of the brutal austerity measures imposed on them which Merkel
is championing. They also pointed to the fact that
Greece's current financial situation can be traced to the theft of
Greece's gold by Germany during World War II.
The gold has never repaid and is still owed to the Greek people with
interest. German Weekly Die Zeit has calculated the financial
damage inflicted on Greece by Germany during the war to be 70 billion
euros. The 1953 London Agreement postponed the settlement of
reparations to Greece until the time Germany would be reunited.
However, a new treaty signed in 1990 excluded the
possibility of reparations.
Second General Strike in Two Months
Athens, October 18, 2012
On October 18, the Greek people held their second
general strike to oppose the austerity agenda in two months, following
a general strike on September 26. In Athens, at least 80,000 protesters
took to the street in two separate demonstrations as part of actions
across the country to protest new so-called austerity measures the
government is negotiating with Greece's international creditors. Some
17,000 people protested in Thessaloniki. The strike grounded flights,
shut down public services, closed schools, hospitals and shops and
hampered public transport in the capital.
Taxi drivers joined in for nine hours, while a three-hour work stoppage
by air traffic controllers led to flight cancellations. Ferries between
the islands stayed in port.
Photos of general strike
held in September -- demonstrations took place in over 70 cities and
towns throughout Greece as well as workplace pickets. Tens of thousands
of workers, unemployed, pensioners, immigrants, self-employed and small
traders took part and the actions were characterized by the
participation of large numbers of youth. In Athens alone over 100,000
people marched to the Greek Parliament in actions organized by two
trade union centrals which represent public and private sectors
workers. A banner stretching the width of the street called on everyone
Dire Situation Worsens
The austerity measures demanded for 2013-14 by the
Troika -- made of up the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the
European Central Bank -- are worth
13.5 billion euros ($17.3 billion Cdn). The Troika claim these cuts are
required to prevent the country from going bankrupt and potentially
having to leave the 17-nation eurozone. The Troika claim to have been
generous because Greece has already been given
two bailouts worth a total 240 billion euros ($310 billion Cdn). The
Greek government, which is cooperating with the international robbers,
is also seeking a two-year extension to its "economic recovery
program," due to end in 2014. Without the extension, it would need to
take 18 billion euros worth of measures
instead of the 13.5 euros it is currently negotiating, news media
The four-month-old coalition government is imposing
further austerity measures with debt inspectors from the Troika. The
demand of the moneylenders is for a further 11 billion
euros in cuts to pensions and health care, while
increasing taxes to take in an additional 2.5 billion euros.
French Professor Salim Lamrani, recently wrote, "In
Greece, after the application of nine austerity plans, we witness a
massive increase in taxes including the VAT as well as higher prices
and lower wages (cuts of up to 32 per cent of the minimum wage).
Pensions have also been reduced and the legal retirement
age has been raised. Essential public services, such as education and
health care have been destroyed and welfare has been eliminated.
Strategic sectors of the national economy (ports, airports, railways,
gas, water, oil) have been privatized. Production has fallen by 20%,
unemployment has soared and the debt crisis
has only worsened. Indeed, it is now higher than it was before the
intervention of international financial institutions in 2010."
The Troika's schemes to pay the rich have worsened the
conditions terribly. Massive cuts to wages, pensions, benefits and
social programs have increased poverty on a massive scale. By the end
next year, the Greek economy is expected to be around a quarter of the
size it was in 2008. With a 25 per cent unemployment
rate, Greece has, along with Spain, the highest unemployment rate in
the 27-nation European Union.
"[About] 180,000 businesses are on the brink [of
bankruptcy] and 70,000 of them are expected to close in the next few
months," said Dimitris Asimakopoulos, head of the GSEVEE small business
and industry association.
"In 2011, only 20 per cent of businesses were
profitable. So these new tax measures present small businesses with a
choice: Dodge taxes or close your shop," he added.
"It's so bad families can no longer afford to even bury
their dead. Bodies lie unclaimed at public hospitals so that the local
municipality can bury them. [...] We once had a life that was
dignified. Now the country has gone back 50 years and these politicians
have to be made aware that enough is enough," an
undertaker was quoted as saying.
As concerns Spain, Professor Lamrani points out that,
"After the Greek disaster, which was caused by the austerity policies
of the Troika, Spain in turn finds itself at the edge of
the abyss. The same neoliberal shock therapy
has been forcibly applied to the Spanish people, with the same
disastrous consequences. According to the economic journal La
Tribune, the government of Mariano Rajoy has imposed on its
citizens 'a colossally rigorous austerity plan' that includes a
projected 102 billion euros in spending cuts by the
year 2014, a drastic reduction in the number of government workers,
budget cuts in education and health, lower wages, higher taxes
including the VAT, as well as a reduction in family allowances,
unemployment benefits and pensions, among other draconian measures. All
of this in a country hit by a record unemployment
rate of 25 per cent and an explosion in its poverty rate. For its part,
European Commission, far from being concerned about the social and
human consequences caused by these measures, 'welcomes the adoption of
the multi-annual plan in Spain.'"
1. "The European Budgetary
Pact," Salim Lamrani, Huffington Post,
2. "Samaras in Brussels as Greeks
Protest," Andy Dabilis, Greek
Reporter, October 18, 2012.
3. "Greek poverty so bad families 'can
no longer afford to bury their dead,'" Helen Smith, Guardian (UK),
October 19, 2012.
4. Salim Lamrani, "The European
Budgetary Pact," Huffington Post,
Greece-Germany: Who Owes Who?
London 1953: Cancellation of the German Debt
Since 2010, in the stronger countries of the eurozone
most political leaders supported by mainstream media have flaunted
their so-called generosity towards the Greek people and other weaker
countries in the eurozone that are currently in the limelight (Ireland,
Portugal, Spain ). In this context, measures that
further destroy the economy of recipient countries and involve social
regression on a scale unprecedented over the past 65 years are called
'rescue plans,' To this we must add the ripoff of the March 2012 plan
to reduce the Greek debt -- a plan that involves a 50% reduction of
debts owed by Greece to private banks
whereas these same debts, if negotiated on the secondary market, had
lost up to 65 to 75% of their value. While the government's debt to
private banks was reduced, there was an increase in what it owes to the
Troika resulting in new measures of phenomenal injustice and brutality.
This agreement to reduce the debt
aims at burdening the Greek people with permanent austerity; it is an
insult and a threat to all peoples in Europe and elsewhere. According
to the IMF research unit, in 2013 the Greek public debt will amount to
164% of GDP, which shows that the debt reduction announced in March
2012 will fail to provide any
actual relief of the debt burden weighing on the Greek people. It is in
this context that Alexis Tsipras [head of SYRIZA opposition group in
the Greek Parliament] visited the European Parliament on 27
September 2012 and underlined the need for a genuine reduction of the
Greek debt, referring to the cancellation of a large portion of the
German debt through the 1953 London
agreement. Let us take a fresh look at this agreement.
The 1953 London Agreement on the German Debt
Raising of the Nazi
flag at the Acropolis in Athens, during German occupation of Greece,
The radical reduction of the debt owed by the Federal
republic of Germany and its fast economic recovery so soon after WWII
were achieved through the political will of its creditors, i.e. the
United States and its main Western allies (United Kingdom
and France). In October 1950 these three countries drafted a project in
which the German federal government acknowledged debts incurred before
and during the war. They attached a declaration to the effect that "the
three countries agree that the plan include an appropriate satisfaction
of demands towards Germany
so that its implementation does not jeopardize the financial situation
of the German economy through unwanted repercussions nor has an
excessive effect on its potential currency reserves. The first three
countries are convinced that the German federal government shares their
view and that the restoration of German
solvability includes an adequate solution for the German debt which
takes Germany's economic problems into account and makes sure that
negotiations are fair to all participants."
Germany's pre-war debt amounted to 22.6 bn marks
including interest. Its postwar debt was estimated at 16.2 bn. In the
agreement signed in London on 27 February 1953 these sums were reduced
to 7.5 bn and 7 bn respectively. This amounts to a
62.6 % reduction.
The agreement set up the possibility of suspending
payments and renegotiating conditions in the event of a substantial
change limiting the availability of resources.
To make sure that the West German economy was
effectively doing well and represented a stable key element in the
Atlantic bloc against the Eastern bloc, allied creditors granted the
indebted German authorities and companies major concessions that far
exceeded debt relief. The starting point was that Germany
had to be able to pay everything back while maintaining a high level of
growth and improving the living standards of its population. They had
to pay back without getting poorer. To achieve this creditors accepted:
- First, that Germany should in most cases repay debts
in its national currency (mark), and only marginally in strong
currencies such as dollars, Swiss francs, pounds sterling.
- Second, while in the early 1950s, the country still
had a negative trade balance (importing more than it exported), they
agreed that Germany should reduce importations: it could manufacture at
home those goods that were formerly imported. In allowing Germany to
replace imports by home-manufactured goods,
creditors agreed to reduce their own exports to this country. As it
happened, for the years 1950-1, 41% of German imports came from
Britain, France and the United States. If we add the share of imports
coming from other creditor countries that participated in the
conference (Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland)
the total amount reached 66%.
- Third, creditors allowed Germany to sell its products
abroad and even supported such exports so as to restore a positive
trade balance. These elements are all present in the aforementioned
agreement: "The payment capacity of Germany's private and public
debtors does not signify only the capacity to regularly
meet payment deadlines in DM without triggering an inflation process,
but also that the country's economy could cover its debts without
upsetting its current balance of payments. To determine Germany's
payment capacity we have to face a number of issues, namely,
1. Germany's future productive capacity with special
consideration for the production of export commodities and of import
2. the possibility for Germany to sell German goods
3. probable future trade conditions;
4. economic and tax measures that might be required to
insure a surplus in exports."
Moreover, in case of dispute with creditors, German
courts were declared competent. It was said explicitly that in some
cases 'German courts may refuse to enforce a decision of a foreign
court or of an arbitral body,' for instance when the enforcement of the
decision would be contrary to public policy' (Agreement
on German External Debts, Article 17, (4)).
Another significant aspect was that the debt service
depended on how much the German economy could afford to pay, taking the
country's reconstruction and the export revenues into account. The debt
service/export revenue ratio was not to exceed 5%. This meant that West
Germany was not to use more than
one twentieth of its export revenues to pay its debt. In fact it never
used more than 4.2% (except once in 1959). In any case, since a large
portion of the German debts were paid in deutsche marks, the German
central bank could issue money, or in other words monetise the debt.
Another exceptional measure was that interest rates were
substantially reduced (between 0 and 5%).
A benefit of huge economic value was granted by Western
powers to West Germany: article 5 of the London agreement postpones the
payment of war debts and reparations (WWI and WWII) owed by the Federal
Republic of Germany to attacked, occupied or annexed countries (and to
Finally we have to consider the dollar grants the United
States made to West Germany: USD 1,173.7 million as part of the
Marshall Plan from 3 April 1948 to 30 June 1952 (i.e. about USD 10
billion at today's value) with at least 200 million added from 1954 to
1961 (about USD 2 billion today), mainly via
Thanks to such exceptional conditions West German
economy was able to recover very fast and eventually absorbed East
Germany in the early 1990s. It is now by far the strongest economy in
Germany 1953/Greece 2010-2012
protest against October 2012 visit of
German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounces new
If we attempt a comparison between the way Greece is
treated today and the way Germany was treated after the Second World
War, the differences are obvious and the injustice is flagrant. Here is
a non-exhaustive list:
1. Proportionally the debt reduction granted to Greece
in March 2012 is far smaller that the one granted to Germany.
2. Social and economic conditions associated with the
plan (as well as with previous 'rescues') do not support economic
recovery whereas they largely contributed to restore the German economy.
3. Greece must privatise its assets to foreign investors
whereas Germany was prompted to control key economic sectors along with
a fast-expanding public sector.
4. Greece's bilateral debts (to countries that
participated in the Troika 'rescue') have not been reduced (only debts
to private banks) whereas Germany's bilateral debts (starting with
those towards countries that had been invaded or annexed by the Third
Reich) were reduced by 60% or more.
5. Greece must pay in euros while its trade balance with
European partners (particularly Germany and France) is negative,
whereas Germany paid most of its debts with strongly devalued deutsche
6. The Greek central bank is not allowed to lend money
to the Greek government while the Deutsche Bank did lend to the German
government and ran the printing press (though moderately).
7. Germany was allowed not to use more than 5% of its
export revenues to pay its debt while no limit has been set for Greece.
8. The new securities on Greek debt that have replaced
the previous set of securities owned by the banks are no longer within
the jurisdiction of Greek courts, but of courts in Luxembourg and the
United Kingdom (and we know how sympathetic they are to private
creditors) while the German courts were declared
9. In terms of paying external debts, German courts
could refuse to enforce decisions of foreign courts or arbitration
bodies when they were contrary to public security. In Greece the Troika
obviously will not have Greek courts invoking public security to
suspend payment. Now as it happens both the huge social
protests and the rise of neonazi groups are the direct outcome of
measures imposed by the Troika and by the country's repayment of debts.
Whatever the outcry in Brussels, the IMF and the 'financial markets'
the Greek government could legitimately invoke the state of necessity
and public security to suspend payment
of debts and cancel the antisocial measures imposed by the Troika.
10. In the case of Germany the agreement contained the
possibility of suspending payments while conditions were renegotiated
in the case of a substantial change that reduced available resources.
Nothing similar is mentioned in the case of Greece.
11. The agreement on the German external debt explicitly
mentioned that the country could produce goods it formerly imported so
as to achieve a trade surplus and support local producers. But the
philosophy behind the agreements forced upon Greece and the rules of
the EU prohibit such support, whether in
farming, manufacturing, or services, since this would contravene 'fair
competition' with other EU countries (Greece's main trade partners).
We could add that after the Second World War Germany
received substantial grants, notably, as mentioned above, through the
We can thus understand why the Syriza leader, Alexis
Tsipras, refers to the 1953 London agreement when he calls upon
European public opinion. The utterly unfair way in which the Greek
people is treated (as well as those other peoples whose governments
enforce the Troika's recommendations) must raise
a fair amount of public outrage.
But let us face reality: the reasons that led Western
powers to treat West Germany the way they did after WWII do not apply
to Greece today.
A genuine solution to the tragedy of debt and austerity
will require massive social mobilizations in Greece and in other EU
countries as well as the accession to power of a people's government in
Athens. The new government (backed by popular support) will have to
decide on a unilateral act of disobedience,
such as suspending repayment and cancelling antisocial measures, to
force creditors to major concessions and finally impose the
cancellation of illegitimate debts. A citizens' audit of the Greek debt
must prepare the ground on which such decisions will be made.
Greece-Germany: who owes who? Part 2 -- From the
Third Reich debt to the Greece of today)
1. Deutsche Auslandsschulden, 1951,
p. 7 and following
in Philipp Hersel, El acuerdo de Londres de 1953 (III),
2. 1 USD dollar was worth 4.2 DM at the
Germany's debt after reduction (i.e. DM 14.5 bn) was thus equal to USD
3. Creditors systematically refuse to
include this kind
of clause in agreements with developing countries.
4. Deutsche Auslandsschulden, 1951, p.
following in Philip Hersel, El
acuerdo de Londres (IV), 8 de enero de
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