Choosing is defiance ! – 5th CADTM Europe Summer School

27 April by CADTM Belgium

Save the dates and sign up here ! From Friday 30th of June to Sunday 2nd of July, the 5th CADTM Europe Summer School will be held in the cultural center of La Marlagne in Wépion near Namur (Belgium).

The system will never fall, if it is not toppled over. Our Summer School will be the place to be for those across Europe who share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. this goal. We’ll meet, share, discuss on current struggles and strategies we need to set up in order to put an end to the cycles of debt, capitalism and its destructive mechanisms. Creditors’ diktats in the European Union, domination through debt in the Global South, vulture funds Vulture funds
Vulture fund
Investment funds who buy, on the secondary markets and at a significant discount, bonds once emitted by countries that are having repayment difficulties, from investors who prefer to cut their losses and take what price they can get in order to unload the risk from their books. The Vulture Funds then pursue the issuing country for the full amount of the debt they have purchased, not hesitating to seek decisions before, usually, British or US courts where the law is favourable to creditors.
’ misbehaviour, illegitimate private debts, women’s oppression, destruction of the environment… We do have reasons to fight!

Could there be a better place than Belgium to talk about all this? It is located in the heart of fortress Europe and near places where austerity policies are decided. Never mind if the sky is not so blue. It precisely gives us another reason to storm heaven.

But we shall not forget it’s summer time, a perfect time to seize the day! The CADTM team is preparing activist and festive parties. Among these, you’ll have access to theatre, slam and DJs performances!

The event will take place in less than one month and you can already sign up! As regulars could tell you, unfortunately there’s a limited number of seats and every time it’s full. So hurry up and get the word out! And if you want to get involved in the event preparation and the communication around it, feel free to contact us at



From 5:30 p.m.: Opening
8 to 10 p.p.: Screening of Capitaine Thomas Sankara

No meal on Thursday night, so be sure to bring your picnic!


From 8 a.m.: Opening and registration

‘Down with illegitimate debt: here and now!’
with Éric Toussaint (CADTM International), Zoe Konstantopoulou (Greece), Lucile Daumas (Attac Cadtm Morocco), Antoine Deltour (Luxleaks).
Chair: Christine Vanden Daelen (CADTM Belgium).
Interpreting ENG<->FR, FR<->ESP
12:30 to 2 p.m.: Lunch and screening of L’Audit - Enquête sur la dette grecque by Maxime Kouvaras (The Audit—Enquiry into Greek Debt, in French) (ZinTV, 26 mn)
2 to 4 p.m.: WORKSHOPS
‘Debt in the South, a timeline’ - ANIMATION
with César Chantraine and Rémi Vilain (CADTM Belgium)

International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
, World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 180 members in 1997), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.
, structural adjustment Structural Adjustment Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange of new loans or the rescheduling of old loans.

Structural Adjustments policies were enforced in the early 1980 to qualify countries for new loans or for debt rescheduling by the IMF and the World Bank. The requested kind of adjustment aims at ensuring that the country can again service its external debt. Structural adjustment usually combines the following elements : devaluation of the national currency (in order to bring down the prices of exported goods and attract strong currencies), rise in interest rates (in order to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure (’streamlining’ of public services staff, reduction of budgets devoted to education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatisations, reduction of public subsidies to some companies or products, freezing of salaries (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation). These SAPs have not only substantially contributed to higher and higher levels of indebtedness in the affected countries ; they have simultaneously led to higher prices (because of a high VAT rate and of the free market prices) and to a dramatic fall in the income of local populations (as a consequence of rising unemployment and of the dismantling of public services, among other factors).

programmes, 1980 debt crisis, HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
In 1996 the IMF and the World Bank launched an initiative aimed at reducing the debt burden for some 41 heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), whose total debts amount to about 10% of the Third World Debt. The list includes 33 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The idea at the back of the initiative is as follows: a country on the HIPC list can start an SAP programme of twice three years. At the end of the first stage (first three years) IMF experts assess the ’sustainability’ of the country’s debt (from medium term projections of the country’s balance of payments and of the net present value (NPV) of debt to exports ratio.
If the country’s debt is considered “unsustainable”, it is eligible for a second stage of reforms at the end of which its debt is made ’sustainable’ (that it it is given the financial means necessary to pay back the amounts due). Three years after the beginning of the initiative, only four countries had been deemed eligible for a very slight debt relief (Uganda, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, and Mozambique). Confronted with such poor results and with the Jubilee 2000 campaign (which brought in a petition with over 17 million signatures to the G7 meeting in Cologne in June 1999), the G7 (group of 7 most industrialised countries) and international financial institutions launched an enhanced initiative: “sustainability” criteria have been revised (for instance the value of the debt must only amount to 150% of export revenues instead of 200-250% as was the case before), the second stage in the reforms is not fixed any more: an assiduous pupil can anticipate and be granted debt relief earlier, and thirdly some interim relief can be granted after the first three years of reform.

Simultaneously the IMF and the World Bank change their vocabulary : their loans, which so far had been called, “enhanced structural adjustment facilities” (ESAF), are now called “Growth and Poverty Reduction Facilities” (GPRF) while “Structural Adjustment Policies” are now called “Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper”. This paper is drafted by the country requesting assistance with the help of the IMF and the World Bank and the participation of representatives from the civil society.
This enhanced initiative has been largely publicised: the international media announced a 90%, even a 100% cancellation after the Euro-African summit in Cairo (April 2000). Yet on closer examination the HIPC initiative turns out to be yet another delusive manoeuvre which suggests but in no way implements a cancellation of the debt.

List of the 42 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia.
initiative, united front against debt – what is all this about? Where does the debt of the third world come from? You’d like to know more about the ‘debt system’? This workshop is for you!

‘States served on a plate to vulture funds’
with Renaud Vivien (CADTM Belgium), Olivier Stein (Progress Lawyers Network). Chair: Jehosheba Bennett (CADTM Belgium).
Interpreting FR<->ESP, FR<->ENG

Vulture funds buy the debts of countries in crisis at, say, 10% of their face value then claim 100% repayment. Argentina recently fell foul of this practice. How can we fight them? Why is the law voted by the Belgian parliament in 2015 contested in court by one of the most powerful vulture funds on a global scale? This workshop, with the lawyer representing the CADTM in the legal and political battle against those financial predators, will come up with some answers.

‘Down with toxic micro-credits!’
with Lucile Daumas (ATTAC CADTM Morocco), Broulaye Bagayogo (CAD Mali). Chair : Christine Vanden Daelen.

Based as they are on profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. , micro-credit institutions not only exploit poverty but drive their victims into desperate predicaments. However, women stand up, resist and win victories. New alternatives are put into place.

‘How can eco-feminism help fight the current many-sided crisis?’
with Marijke Colle (Climat Justice Sociale, Belgium), Marta Pascual (Acción Ecologista, Spain). Chair: Noémie Cravatte (CADTM Belgium).
Interpreting ESP<->FR
4 to 4 :30 p .m.: tea/coffee break
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.: WORKSHOPS
‘Debt of the North: Whodunnit’ - ANIMATION
with Anouk Renaud (CADTM Belgium) and Najla Mulhondi (CADTM Belgium)

Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus, etc. Yes, the debt crisis has reached countries of the North for some time now. This workshop sheds light on those actors (institutions as much as individuals) who are responsible for this increase in sovereign debt Sovereign debt Government debts or debts guaranteed by the government. .

‘Why is the doctrine of odious debt still relevant?’
with Éric Toussaint (CADTM International) and Zoe Konstantopoulou. Chair: Emilie Paumard (CADTM France).
Interpreting EN<->FR

The doctrine of odious debt as formulated by the Russian jurist Alexander Sack in 1927 has been used by several political decision makers. The Committee for Truth on Greek Debt also made use of it. How should it be interpreted? How can we use it today to cancel debt, whether in the South or in the North?

‘Debt and financial crime: let us blow the whistle!’
with Antoine Deltour, whistleblower in the LuxLeaks affair, Wilfried Maurin (attac France, faucher de chaises, Elise Gilliot (Attac Wallonie-Bruxelles).
‘Debt and free trade: what is at stake? How can we mobilize?’
with Virginie de Romanet (CADTM Belgium), Monica Vargas (TNI), Bettina Müller (ATTAC/CADTM Argentina). Chair: César Chantraine (CADTM Belgium).
Interpreting ESP<->FR
6:30 to 8 p.m. Evening meal and annoucements
8 to 9:15 p.m. One-woman-show conference by Aline Fares
9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Slams!
From 10:30 p.m. Dj Kitoko


From 8 a.m.: Opening and registration

9:30 to 12:30: WORKSHOPS
‘How do banks function?’ - ANIMATION
with Aline Fares (CADTM Belgium) and Roxane Zadvat (CADTM Belgium)

Banks, which are often the source of financial crises, can hardly be bypassed in our everyday lives. This deserves a dynamic illustration by a former Dexia employee!

‘Latin America: the end of a cycle?’
with Bettina Müller (ATTAC/CADTM Argentina), Joaldo Dominguez (CADTM Belfium). Chair: Maud Bailly.
Interpreting ESP<->FR, FR<->ENG
‘Unnecessary Imposed Mega Projects and ecological debt’
with Lucile Daumas (Attac Cadtm Morocco). Chair: Sébastien Kennes.
‘Swapping practices in citizens’s audit of the debt’PARTICIPATIVE WORKSHOP
with Yago Alvarez Barba (PACD Madrid), Marie Claude Carrel (CAC Grenoble) and Virginie de Romanet (ACiDe Bruxelles). Chair : Chiara Filoni and Jérémie Cravatte (CADTM Belgium/ICAN).
Interpreting ESP<->FR
12:30 to 2 p.m.: Lunch and screening of L’Audit - Enquête sur la dette grecque by Maxime Kouvaras (ZinTV, 26 mn) with the presence of the filmaker.
2:30 to 5:30 p.m.: WORKSHOPS
‘Women against Austerity, debt is dead’ - ANIMATION
with Magali Verdier (Vie Féminine) and Christine Vanden Daelen

Debt is the Trojan horse in an unprecedented social war against the peoples of Europe, and it is not gender-neutral. While women bear the brunt of the worst social regressions enforced by austerity, they are the true creditors of the debt.

‘Belfius is and must remain public!’
with Michael Verbauwede (PTB), Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo), Micheline Bruyninckx (SETCa FGTB). Chair: Aline Fares

Belfius was bought over by the Belgian state after Dexia’s second defaulting in 2011. It is now the first bank of the public sector in the country and is entirely owned by the State. The campaign entitled ‘Belfius est à nous’ (Belfius is ours) is combating the current government’s privatization project and leading the debate on how citizens can monitor the bank to optimize how it fulfils missions of general interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. .

‘Down with debts that crush farmers!’
with Vanessa Martin (FUGEA), Olivier Chantry (CADTM Spain). Chair: Giulia Simula.
Interpreting ESP<->FR

In the North as in the South, debt and public policies have been used as political weapons to steer the farming system towards extractivism and an agro-industrial production. At the cost of farmers that are crushed in the process.

‘What are the challenges to be met by the Left in the Eurozone?’
with Eric Toussaint (CADTM International), Angela Klein (SOZ/European marches against unemployment), Zoe Konstantopoulou (former Speaker of the Greek Parliament), Miguel Urban (GUE/Anticapitalistas MEP). Chair: Nathan Legrand.
Interpreting FR<->ESP; FR<->ENG; ESP<->ENG
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Meeting of local and national CADTM groups
6:30 to 8 p.m.: Evening and meal annoucements
8 to 9:15 p.m. : Theatre perfomance : Sans, by la Voix des Sans Papiers
From 10:30 p.m.: Dj Miss Sirocco


From 8 a.m.: Opening and registration

9:30 to 12:30: WORKSHOPS
‘Down with neocolonialism!’
with Nicolas Sersiron (CADTM France), Broulaye Bagayogo (CAD Mali), Rémi Vilain (CADTM Belgium).

Western powers’ hold on Africa did not stop with colonization. New devices, particularly in the economic arena, prevent peoples from achieving emancipation, for instance the CFA franc and conversion of debt into investments. Come and find out.

‘How to bring a direct action against vulture funds’ – PARTICIPATIVE WORKSHOP
with Alexandre Liesenborghs (Barricade), Camille Fleury; ‘resource persons’: Renaud Vivien (CADTM Belgium), Olivier Stein (Progress Lawyers Network).
‘Down with banks that throw us out of our homes’
with Eva Betavatzi, Fátima Martín. Chair: Pierre Gottiniaux.
Interpreting FR<->ESP, FR<->ENG

In the US 14 million households were evicted by banks. In Spain over 300, 000 households are the victims of laws that go back to Franco’s time. In Greece banks now feel free to expel families who cannot pay their mortgage Mortgage A loan made against property collateral. There are two sorts of mortgages:
1) the most common form where the property that the loan is used to purchase is used as the collateral;
2) a broader use of property to guarantee any loan: it is sufficient that the borrower possesses and engages the property as collateral.
. But a new kind of movement and mobilisation is emerging to withstand such policies.

‘Down with social debt!’
with Hélène Crouzillat (Matermittentes), Bernadette Schaeck (ADAS – Défense des allocataires sociaux (defence of benefits recipients)), Vicente Losada (health audit in Madrid, PACD).
Interpreting ESP<->FR
12:30 to 2 p.m.: Lunch and screening of L’Audit - Enquête sur la dette grecque (The Audit—Enquiry into Greek Debt, in French) by Maxime Kouvaras (ZinTV, 26 mn)
‘We can no longer afford to obey… Testimonies and experiences of resistance’
with Bettina Müller (ATTAC/CADTM Argentina), Renaud Vivien (CADTM Belgium). Chair: Christine Vanden Daelen.
Interpreting FR<->ESP ; FR<->ENG ; ESP<->ENG




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