European and North African civil society coordinates against the harmful effects of debt and austerity

Added 19 Apr 2012

By Carlos Villota,

As Europe broke for Easter, debt activists gathered in Brussels and formed the International Citizens Audit Network. The network brings together European and North African CSOs that use debt audits as a tool for demanding information about the origins of the public debt of their countries.

Activists from twelve different countries attended this first Euro-Mediterranean meeting: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain (Eurodad member ODG), Greece, Poland, the United Kingdom (Eurodad member Jubilee Debt Campaign), France, Germany, Belgium, Tunisia and Egypt. Across these countries citizen’s audits of public debts and campaigns against the harmful effects of debt and austerity are taking place.

Participants shared experiences and information between the various organisations, networks, and social movements behind debt audit initiatives in the different Euro-Mediterranean counties. They also planned joint actions and mobilisation strategies.

Furthermore, the meeting laid the foundation for improved communication and major coordinated action by the international network. Participants drafted a common calendar highlighting key dates for mobilisation such us International Workers' Day on 1 May; global level mobilisations on 12 and 15 May around the Spanish Democracia real ya! Movement (also know as 15M) first anniversary; and to organise activists meetings and a demonstration around the European Central Bank in Frankfurt 16 – 19 May. Eurodad member Erlassjahr is also involved in the preparation of the Frankfurt activities.

Greek activists’ proposal for a global day of action against debt and austerity in October, in solidarity with Greek people, was enthusiastically received. It was proposed that this day of action should occur during the annual Global action week against debt and IFIs on  8 - 15 October. This year it will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, the former President of Burkina Faso who called for repudiation of debts and who was murdered due to his radical stance against social, economic and political exploitation

The meeting ended with Greece activists’ presentation of the trailer for Catastroika a film by the makers of Debtocracy.