„Citizens are bringing the EU to their knees“, so the headline of the conservative newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, which announced the success of the EU-wide referendung „right2water“. Over 1,6 million citizens from 11 countries had protested with their signature against the plan to introduce the mandatory privatization of the communal water supply.
But now, the EU abstains from including water in the Concessions Directive according to a suggestion from commissioner Barner. This is a noteworthy success of democracy in a EU which tends to listen to big business.
We and all that contributed to this are especially proud that our „bottom-up film“ „Water Makes Money“ in its many hundreds of showings has contributed considerably to this victory over the water multis. This strenghtens our courage and makes us believe in information, the power of many small individuals over powerful giants!
But still: demokracy is in danger
We've just returned from Greece, where we were filming „who is saving whom?“ the new „bottom-up film“ , and we are still under the impression of a country where democracy has turned into a cheap set phrase. When we asked for an interwiev with the Greek finance minister, we were told that the whole ministry was drowning in chaos. Everybody was incredibly nervous because the Troika was about to arrive. A few days later tanks were rolling through Athens in the evening, just like during the times of dictatorship. Wherever citizens don't put up enough resistane, public radio and tv stations are being occupied by armed units. Screens turn black, radio programs silent. Only in front of the central broadcasting center in Athens thousands of people gathered in time to resist the evacuation. Thanks to their courage the armed forces finally flinch from attacking the people and occupying the broadcasting station. The building is still being defended today. And the program of the public TV channel and Radio ERT is still seen and heard thanks to the hacker organization „Anonymos“, which also helped us with a hacker attack to our website and out studio. Sometimes ERT is now running on the website of the finance ministry, after that on the site of the parliament...
The background of the collective redundancy directive disclose the overlooked coalition partners of the Greek prime minister Samara: the troika that had meanwhile arrived had demanded the immediate dismissal of at least 2000 workers of the public service. Otherwise the next payment would be stopped. Pushed in a corner, Samaras saw now way out except his single-handed decision. Shutting down ERT allowed him to present at once 2600 laid off employees of the public radio and TV stations! As a side effect, the last remaining critical voice had been silenced, what remained was private broadcasting media.
Already in the spring of the previous year, the three governing parties had to undersign that they would follow the orders of the Troika in the future – independent of which delegates would be elected into parliament. In reality, the Troika is running the government, and the memorandum of March 2012 has suspended the Greek constitution. At the same time, this contract that was forced upon Greece has transferred the debt of this country to European tax payers, meaning that we are now liable for them to a big extent. The previous cretitors, private banks, are now free of any risk. At the same time, the memorandum stipulates that the dept now is not anymore liable to Greek law, but the creditor-linked English and Luxembourg law. The chances for a real cut of the debt in the future should now really be made impossible for Greece. A hopeless situation for a contry, where the salaries have been almost halved per decree, and the social security systems practically disestablished. Before these and other „rescue means“, the Greek natinal dept was about 115% of the GNP. Now it is 192% – tendency increasing!
IMF puts it straight: Only saving the banks mattered
Spicy what the IMF – one of the three powers of the Troika – published in this respect: In 2009 it was impossible to enforce the request to a clear haircut on debt for Greece. This would have only cost a fraction of the „help“ that has been paid until now and would have given Greece the possibility of a economic restart. But out of consideration for the involved banks – especially German and French banks – they did abstain from this plan, in order to prevent severe bank losses. The other two Troika-members -the EU and the European Central Bank- prevented per mandate of the banks the greek debt cut in 2009. Now we have it black on white: It was never about saving Greece, the only goal was to prevent any losses of the big banks. haben dann im Auftrag der Banken den griechischen Schuldenschnitt 2009 verhindert.
And who is paying is of course a big part of the Greek population.
This way it was succeeded to lure an entire nation into a debt trap and to render them liable to be blackmailed. Liable to be blackmailed for a neoliberal experiment that is so far unique in Europe. Here, it is done what Reagan, Milton Friedman, Thatcher and also the rich people of Greece have been dreaming about for a long time: The abolishment of social security, the reduction of retirement to starvation level, abolishemnt of the right to strike, essentially to deprive people of any rights and to turn them into humble beggers. It is harrowing what it already turned Greek people into. We cannot even imagine what is still to come.
And it scares us.
This experiment is not only going to be limited to Greece. It is being continued in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and also Italy. And mock examples such as the deregulation of the employment, contracts for services, temporary work and terminability as a rule are already common practice in Germany.
But solidarity gives courage
While we were filming in Greece, we received another 20.000€ worth of donations. More than thousand supporters have collected over 80.000€ zusammengetragen! Let's not stop here. We need to reach at least 120.000 € „support for bottom up film support until this fall.
Therefore, we kindly ask you to
- spread this newsletter as much as you can! As E-Mail to friends, as printed-out flyer on info-stands, on events and culturar celters in your neighborhood.
- Put the text or our Video-Teaser on your webseite or spread the material via Facebook!
- You know journalists or other multipliers? Then suggest to report about this in (local) media and newspapers.
Just like with WATER MAKES MONEY, this type of fundraisings has a far-reaching multiplying effect. Each supporter will receive a DVD when the film is finished, which is not only shown in a single living room. The activists among you will organize viewings all over Europe and discuss and inform.
Kind regards from your WhoIsSavingWhom- Filmteam.
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.whos-saving-whom.org