On March 17th 2015, Zoi Konstantopoulou (president of the Greek Parliament) together with Sofia Sakorafa (MEP) and Eric Toussaint (CADTM) made public in a press conference the creation of the Truth Committee about Greek public debt.
On March 4th, Zoi Konstantopoulou officially presented in the Parliament the Truth Committee about Greek public debt: the “Debt Truth Committee.”
This committee is made up about thirty international and national experts, economists and lawyers, amongst others, with the mission of analysing if the Greek public debt is illegitimate, illegal, odious, or unsustainable. For this, the different concepts have to be understood: an illegitimate debt is a debt contracted against the general interest and in favour of a privileged minority; an illegal debt is a debt contracted without respecting a country’s laws and/or Constitution; an odious debt is a debt contracted in conditions that imply serious violations of fundamental human rights, guaranteed by a series of treaties and international conventions, from which States and institutions cannot escape because they ratified them; an unsustainable debt is a debt whose reimbursement prevents public powers from guaranteeing a country’s citizens the ability to exercise their fundamental human rights.
This committee has a double objective; on one hand to provide response elements and arguments to the Greek government for an eventual suspension or annulation of the debt, and on the other hand, elements for mobilisation and awareness of the citizens of Greece and the rest of the world.
The committee will analyse all debt contracted by Greece since mid-1990 until the present day, taking into account that over the last five years, the main creditors are the troika actors. That is to say, the FMI, 14 European countries that lent money to Greece since 2010, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the European Stability Fund. They are the different creditors of Greece, and they represent more than 80 percent of Greek public debt.
The committee, with 15 international members and 15 Greek members, is organised in different working groups that analyse the Greek debt’s creditors, from different points of view: macroeconomics, finance and the impact on human rights.
- Pre-Troika Debt: Leonidas Vatikiotis, Michel Husson, Maria Lucia Fattorelli, Nikos Strombols and Zoe Georganta.
- Evolution of Greek public debt from 2010 to 2105: Leonidas Vatikiotis, Michel Husson, Maria Lucia Fattorelli, Nikos Strombols and Zoe Georganta.
- Greek public debt in 2015, by creditor:
- Bilateral: Leonidas Vatikiotis and Eric Toussaint.
- IMF: Christina Laskaridis.
- EFSF: Sergi Cutillas and Daniel Alabarraecín.
- ECB: Olivier Bonfond and Diego Borja.
- Private creditors: short term / long term (Fotis Goutziomitros and Patrick Saurin).
- Debt audit and accounting evidence: Nikos Strombols, Zoe Georganta, Maria Lucia Fattorelli, and other Greek auditors.
- Social consequences of the policies imposed by creditors and consequences on the commons (State patrimony, etc.): Christina Laskaridis, Sofia Tzitzikou, Héraclès Aktypis, Michel Husson, Ozlem Onaran, Sonia Mitralias, and Stavros Tombazos
- Assessment of debts with respects to: Illegitimacy, Odious nature, Illegality, and Unsustainability: Renaud Vivien.
- Macroeconomic argument about debt sustainability: Michel Husson y Ozlem Onaran.
- Options and requests concerning the cancellation of the debt: Ilias Bantekas, Professer Kassimatis, Raphael G. A., Renaud Vivien
The committee will be publishing the preliminary works to guarantee transparency during the process of analysis. Likewise, the committee has foreseen to finalise their work with the release of a report and an international press conference next June 18th in Athens. The report will expose their conclusions about the audit and Greek public debt as well as arguments for the Greek government for not paying public debt.