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. Sigue leyendo →
Molins de Rei’s Council declares illegitimate part of its debt
Pablo Martínez & Iolanda Fresnillo, PACD members.
Hundreds of city councils all over Catalonia and the Spanish State are under financial hardship since the begging of the crisis. The debt of local corporations in the Spanish state has reached 67 billion Euros in December 2012, a rise in 230% since year 2000. Even though this comprises only 57% of the Spanish state’s public debt, this debt has a direct impact on the services provided by local governments to cover essential services such as education, health or social welfare policies, integration, equity and cooperation, as well as economic stimulation
More and more, the debate about the obligation to pay or not pay the debt is being considered by city councils. Recently the city council of Badalona has approved a motion that declares part of the municipal debt illegitimate. They were preceded by some city councils in the province of Valencia.
The financial drowning of the city councils has been caused by a deficient financing system and an unsustainable indebtedness. Adding to this, the political centralisation process (driven further by the Popular Party), is trying to diminish the power of local councils. Even though there is a clear shift of the local powers and competences to central government hands, thus separating them further from citizens and social control, there are still a number of aspects to exert pressure on in order to achieve changes at a the municipal sphere. Sigue leyendo →
European activists meet in Greece to discuss the debt problem, coordinate resistance strategies and propose alternatives.
The International Citizen Audit Network (ICAN) holds its third meeting in Thessaloniki from February 15th to 18th 2013, with the participation of activists against debt and austerity measures from Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Belgium, the UK and Greece. ICAN brings together, from April 2012 and under the slogan «We don’t owe! We won’t pay!», movements and networks in different European and North African countries fighting austerity measures and debt problems through Citizen Debt audits.
Our Democracy against their austerity! – a call for action against the EU Spring Summit
‘For a European Spring’ is a call for actions, strikes and demonstrations all over Europe on the 13th of March, and for a pan-European demonstration and creative actions in the city of Brussels on the 14th of March. It is targeted at the EU Spring Summit, where leaders from across the continent will assemble on the 14th and 15 to strengthen the European Council’s response to the crisis. Sigue leyendo →
Ten years ago 60,000 activists converged in Florence for the first European Social Forum to discuss building another world. That meeting, four months before the invasion of Iraq, catalysed the largest demonstrations Europe has ever seen on 15 February 2003, not to mention the international campaign for tax justice, a financial transactions tax and more besides. The campaign against Third World debt was a major issue at the event.
This weekend we met in Florence again, and again debt was one of the crucial issues – this time how we defeat a cycle of debt and austerity that is tearing the heart out of Europe.Sigue leyendo →
Spanish Citizen Debt Audit Platform (PACD) joins the General Strike of November 14th and encourages all to take the streets shouting, loud and clear, to the political, financial and business elite in Spain and Europe that we do not believe their lies:
1. We know that the origin of this crisis is private debt you built up, not public debt spent on building the welfare state and a more just and egalitarian society.
2. We know that you have accumulated large profits for years with this debt, while real wages decreased and the price of basic commodites, such as housing, increased.
3. Cuts, privatizations and reforms are a way of making people pay a debt that is not ours, but yours, so you can continue making profit at the expense of our rights and our planet.
4. We know the anti-democratic mechanisms you use to transform private debt into public debt: bank bailouts, constitutional reform, EU bailout to the banks and the signing of the ESM.
5. We will not stay quiet at home, we are not afraid and we will use all the tools at our disposal to not pay this illegitimate debt.
Everywhere in Europe, debt repayment is used by governments as a pretext to impose the biggest social backslash since World War II. Everywhere citizens’ rights and hard-won social benefits are jeopardized.
CADTM suggests alternatives to this unfair and deadly logic. Some have been concretely experimented in Southern countries and are worth being examined, others are being explored and need strengthening, others yet have to be invented. All will require our common endeavour. Sigue leyendo →
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