June 12th, 2014
Over half a million people now have access to real participation in their municipality
The OCMs: citizen bodies to control local governments
(subtitles in: English, French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese and German).
After two years of work at the Spanish Citizen Debt Audit Platform (PACD), we are handing over our municipal tool to citizens: the Municipal Citizens’ Observatories (OCMs is the Spanish acronym), a project that fights opacity, encouraging participation in the most accessible level of government: the municipalities, to make them accessible and participatory from below. We are launching the proposal with five observatories already in place that have enabled real participation for more than half a million people in Burgos, Terrassa, Girona, Castelldefels and Moiá. And they won’t be the only ones: there are groups in several municipalities learning and preparing their own websites for their neighbours.
May 29th, 2014
By George Caffentzis
(In press, Red Pepper, Feb-March 2014 issue)
“Only debtors can free debtors from their debt” -Patterned on Berthold Brecht’s poem, All or Nothing.
Introduction. “Macro” and “Micro” Debt
I start with my conclusion:
The Global Justice movement of the 1990s and early 2000s focused on national debt. It is time that its heirs join forces with the nascent movements struggling against micro-debt that developed after the crash of 2008 in order to present a challenge to the whole debt economy.
To make my argument for this political conclusion I distinguish two categories of debt–micro-debt and macro-debt–and define the notion of a debt economy…
April 5th, 2014
Troika? Never heard of it? Don’t worry! You will learn first hand when one unforgettable day the three inseparable friends (IMF, ECB & EC) visit your beautiful country, not for tourism but for a bailout! What? You are not in need of a bailout? That doesn’t matter, Troika offers its bailout policies at a competitive price. Besides, nobody asked you!
Many people are unaware of the strong role the Troika plays in the EU policies; mainly with regard to the countries in the South and East of Europe but with growing influence also in the North. With the May 2014 European Parliament elections getting closer, the Troika Party campaign is conceived as a tool that aims at raising awarenessin citizens but also at dismantling the current neoliberal narrative and unpack the role of the Troika in European decision making. There is not a focus on who to vote or not voting; we aim at people rethinking the concept of Europe and democracy.
March 28th, 2014
Similar to the last few months, the European context is characterized by governments doing window dressing, while the situation for more and more people gets worse. After Ireland, Portugal is likeliest to be the second country to leave the umbrella of the Troika, in May. However, this is unlikely to better the living conditions for the people there, because austerity will continue for years and whether the level of debt can really get reduced without considerable debt relief is more than questionable.
In this newsletter you can read about:
Overall situation, European level, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, From our side
March 21st, 2014
Illustrations by Marc Rodríguez Porcell
The goal of the exhibition is to reach a wide group of people with information about the process of indebtedness of the Spanish State, and its impacts on the population. Through illustrations, plain but serious explanations, charts and date, the exhibition “Living in a Debtocracy” summarizes the process of indebtedness of the Spanish State, covering the relationship that it has with the debt in the South, emphazising the impact that this debt has on the population, as it acts as an argument for structural reforms. The exhibition ends with a call for the construction of alternatives presenting the proposal for a Citizen Debt Audit as a tool towards these alternatives.
The exhibition has 30 slides prepared to print on DIN-A2. They have a Creative Commons licence for free downloading. You can download the two versions here: web and printable (higher quality). You also have the versions in Spanish and Catalan.