June 12th, 2014

Half a million citizens in Spain now have control over municipal government accounts

Over half a million people now have access to real participation in their municipality

The OCMs: citizen bodies to control local governments

 

YouTube Preview Image

(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.

FacebookTwitterMeneameWordPressTumblrMarcador
May 29th, 2014

Against the Debt Economy

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

 caffentz 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 14th, 2014

OCAX: an online tool to keep public budgets under people’s control

A year ago, the PACD (Spanish Citizen Debt Audit Platform) launched its campaign to fight debt and lack of transparency in the municipalities. The aim was to create citizen observatories to get the budgets under citizens’ control. An online tool has been developed in order to support this task. The tool, OCAX, is totally open source:  any group can download the code and implement it on their website. The code can be changed, there is no need to quote, but it can’t be used for lucrative purpose. Likewise, no logo from any political party or association can be attached to it since it wants to remain as a tool for the citizens.

The web enables any citizen to ask questions about the public budgets to the City Hall, and the people who make the observatory work are in charge of the bureaucracy involved. All the questions are open to the public on the website and answers can be tracked and processed so it can be replicated in other observatories. Furthermore, it also includes a budget analyser which breaks down different incomes and outputs. Some more extra information is provided: who is awarded public works’ contracts, on which issues the money is spent, or any other answers to questions raised by citizens.

April 5th, 2014

@TheTroikaParty project. Looking at how the Troika threatens democracy

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!

troika-party3

 

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

3rd Newsletter from TroikaWatch

TWlogo

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 situationEuropean levelGreeceIrelandPortugalCyprusSpainItalySloveniaFrom our side

Read the Newsletter: http://www.troikawatch.net/3rd-newsletter-from-troikawatch/

 

March 21st, 2014

Exhibition “Living in a Debtocracy”

Illustrations by Marc Rodríguez Porcell
deudocracia english

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.