Frankfurt am Main, 2 November 2011
* Referendum in Greece: an impact of resistance
* Without depriving the markets no real democracy possible
The globalization network Attac rated the surprise announcement of a referendum by the Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou as a success of the protests against welfare cuts and democracy degradation of large parts of the Greek population.
"This maneuver shows that the loss of legitimacy of the Greek government and the rejection of the politics of the Troika have grown enormously," said Alexis Passadakis, member of the Council of Attac Germany. "The persistent protests of many Greecs against welfare cuts and pay cuts - most recently on October 28, the Greek national holiday - have meant that a business-as-usual no longer is possible. The resistance has an impact!"
Marica Frangakis from Attac Hellas, however, warned against the likely thrust of the referendum: "The announcement of the referendum is no evidence that the Greek government now accepts the will of the majority population and carry out democratic change." Papandreou couple apparently the issue of welfare cuts with the fate of Greece in the Euro zone or even the European Union. Instead of blackmail in this way the population, Attac Hellas would actually welcome a vote on the austerity policies.
From the perspective of globalization critics the reactions of stock markets and many politicians on the announcement of a referendum show, that the finance-driven capitalism is incompatible with democracy. "The mere possibility that people could not make a market-based decision triggers panic," noted Alexis Passadakis. "Whoever wants real democracy in Europe, must fight for strict regulation and shrinking of financial markets. The markets need to be removed from power, otherwise there is no real democracy possible."
Attac Hellas and Attac Germany are also demanding a public debt audit - that means a review of the debt - for Greece with the participation of civil society. Anyone negotiating a haircut only between governments and private banks trample democracy.
In recent months Attac Germany had organized several solidarity actions in Berlin with the protest movement in Greek.
On the Internet:
For questions and interviews:
* Alexis Passadakis, Council of Attac Germany email@example.com, Tel
* Marica Frangakis, Attac Hellas, firstname.lastname@example.org (currently in Cannes
At the G20 Summit)
* Athanase Contargyris, Attac Hellas, email@example.com, +30 694-972
7390 (in Athens, English and French)