21 July 2016
What is illegitimate public debt? Who generates it? How does it affect citizens, the environment or human rights? What should we do about it? These are but some of the questions that we will try to answer in the debate ‘Tackling debtocracy, with freedom and dignity’, that the Rototom Sunsplash Social Forum on Friday August 19.
The day’s session brings together two critics of these processes of illegitimate debt creation that suffocate both politically and economically, the countries that bare them and support their abolition. On the one hand, the ex-president of the Greek Parliament, Zoé Konstantopoulou, who ordered the audit of Greek debt, which concluded that it was illegitimate and, therefore should not be paid. On the other hand you have the Belgian political scientist Éric Toussaint, president of the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CATDAM) and coordinator of the committee that audited the Greek accounts under Konstantopoulou’s direction.
The objective of this debate is to help us understand not only what a debt that is declared illegitimate is, but also what effects it has on populations that did not generate the debt and also highlight that the so-called debtocracy, the system in which many countries find themselves immersed and which conceives their external debt as instrument to oblige them to accept neoliberal politics, has also taken root in Europe, as can be seen with the chaos in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland.