Eric Toussaint’s statement on the beautiful historic victory of the No

5 July 2015 by Eric Toussaint


The beautiful historic victory of the No shows again that the Greek citizens refuse to accept the creditors’ blackmail. As shown in the preliminary report by the Truth Committee on Public Debt created by the Hellenic parliament, there are several legal arguments that permit a State to unilaterally suspend or repudiate its illegal, odious, and illegitimate debt.

In the Greek case, such a unilateral act may be based on the following arguments:

  1. the bad faith of the creditors that pushed Greece to violate national law and international obligations related to human rights;
  2. preeminence of human rights over agreements such as those signed by previous governments with creditors or the Troika Troika Troika: IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank, which together impose austerity measures through the conditions tied to loans to countries in difficulty.

    IMF : https://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html
    ;
  3. coercion; unfair terms flagrantly violating Greek sovereignty and violating the Constitution;
  4. and finally, the right recognized in international law for a State to take countermeasures against illegal acts by its creditors, which purposefully damage its fiscal sovereignty, oblige it to assume odious, illegal and illegitimate debt, violate economic self-determination and fundamental human rights.

As far as unsustainable debt is concerned, every state is legally entitled to invoke necessity in exceptional situations in order to safeguard those essential interests threatened by a grave and imminent peril.

In such a situation, the State may be dispensed from the fulfilment of those international obligations that increase the peril, as is the case with outstanding loan contracts. Finally, states have the right to declare themselves unilaterally insolvent when the servicing of their debt is unsustainable, in which case they commit no wrongful act and hence bear no liability.

People’s dignity is worth more than illegal, illegitimate, odious and unsustainable debt.

Eric Toussaint

Scientific coordinator of the Truth Committee on Public Debt (Greece)
Vocal of the CADTM international network www.cadtm.org

See the the preliminary report written by the Truth Committee on Public Debt : http://cadtm.org/Preliminary-Report-of-the-Truth



Eric Toussaint

is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France.
He is the author of Bankocracy (2015); The Life and Crimes of an Exemplary Man (2014); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago, 2012 (see here), etc.
See his bibliography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Toussaint
He co-authored World debt figures 2015 with Pierre Gottiniaux, Daniel Munevar and Antonio Sanabria (2015); and with Damien Millet Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers, Monthly Review Books, New York, 2010. Since the 4th April 2015 he is the scientific coordinator of the Greek Truth Commission on Public Debt.

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