The Truth Committee on Public Debt returns to Greece through Europe. It becomes an Association and continues its works

17 March 2016 by Truth Committee on the Greek Public Debt

Zoe Konstantopoulou: “The Truth Committee will continue its works, whether the European Commission, the ECB and the Government like it or not”.
Great enthusiasm in Brussels and Liege.
13 Left and Green MEPs declare their support on the continuation of the Committee’s work

The 2-day events and works focused on the Truth Committee on Public Debt were completed in full success in Belgium last week, with the participation of the former President of the Hellenic Parliament, Zoe Konstantopoulou.

Event of the Greek Community in Brussels

On Monday, February 29, 2016, Zoe Konstantopoulou attended, as a guest of German MEP Fabio de Masi (Die Linke), the event of the Solidarity Initiative for Greece, constituted by members of the Greek Community in Belgium. The members of the Truth Committee on Public Debt Leonidas Vatikiotis, Aris Chatzistefanou, Spyros Marketos were the main speakers, together with Anouk Renaud of CADTM and MEP Fabio de Masi. There was vivid 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. over the evolutions in Greece, Zoe Konstantopoulou was asked to participate in the speakers’ panel and the event was marked by the live participation of Greeks and Belgians.

Event at the European Parliament on the works of the Debt Truth Committee, Debt and Democracy

On Tuesday morning, March 1, 2016, in a packed hall at the European Parliament an official event on Debt and Democracy was held, under the auspices of the GUE/NGL, on the initiative of MEPs Nikos Chountis, Sofia Sakorafa and Jean Luc Melenchon.

During the first round table, the works of the Truth Committee on Public Debt were presented by Zoe Konstantopoulou - convenor of the Truth Committee on Public Debt, Eric Toussaint - Scientific Coordinator of the Truth Committee, George Kassimatis - professor emeritus and member of the Truth Committee and sociologist Benjamin Lemoine.

In the second round table, there were presentations by the members of the Truth Committee Cephas Lumina, Maria Lucia Fatorelli and Diego Borja, focusing on the works of the U.N. on public debt.

The discussion was coordinated by MEPs Nikos Chountis and Sofia Sakorafa and several MEPs of the Left and the Greens also attended.

MEPs of the Left and the Greens support the continuation of the works of the Committee

13 MEPs of the Left and the Greens signed a text of support for the continuation of the works of the Truth Committee on Public Debt, “recognizing its precious contribution and affirming that auditing public debt serves a fundamental sovereign right of people, a right which should be observed and respected by all governments and Institutions”

The first 13 MEPs to sign the letter of support are:

Sofia Sakorafa (Greece), Nikos Chountis (Greece), Konstantina Kouneva (Greece), Jean Luc Melenchon (France), Eva Joly (France), Barbara Spinelli (Italy), Eleonora Forenza (Italy), Fabio De Masi (Germany), Marina Albiol (Spain), Miguel Urban (Spain), Lola Sanchez (Spain), Malin Bjork (Sweden), Marie Christine Vergiat (France).

Official Meeting of the Committee – Transformation of the Committee into an Association – Election of the first Administration Board, engraving the next steps.

On Tuesday noon, March 1st, 2016, right after the public event on the Truth Committee, Public Debt and Democracy, the first official meeting of the Truth Committee on Public Debt since September 2015, took place inside the European Parliament with the participation of its Greek and international dynamic under the hospitality of MEP Sofia Sakorafa.

The members of the Committee, taking into account the persecution and undermining of the project by the current President of the Hellenic Parliament and the current Greek government authorities, decided to remain faithful to their duty to the Greek people, not to succumb to a violent end of the Committee’s work, and to continue by any means possible the Committee’s work. A unanimous decision was taken by the Committee members to transform the Committee into an Association. The solemn meeting signed the Statute of the Association and the first Board of Directors was elected unanimously, consisting in:

Zoe Konstantopoulou, Eric Toussaint, George Kassimatis, Leonidas Vatikiotis, Christina Laskaridi, Stavros Tombazos, Despoina Spanou, Thanos Kontargyris, Ilias Bantekas.

MEP Sofia Sakorafa undertakes, like in the previous period, the relations of the Committee with the European Parliament and the Parliaments of European countries.

MEP Nikos Chountis undertakes the communication of the Committee with the European Commission and other European Institutions.

The Committee’s dynamic was present and active

Most of the Committee’s members from Greece and the whole world are included among the founding members of the Association. Indicatively, the following persons participated in the meeting and signed the Statute of the Committee as its founding members:

Zoe Konstantopoulou, Sofia Sakorafa, Eric Toussaint, George Kassimatis, Cephas Lumina (Professor, former Independent Expert of the UN on Debt and Human Rights), Diego Borja (former Minister of Finance of Ecuador, former Head of the Central Bank Central Bank The establishment which in a given State is in charge of issuing bank notes and controlling the volume of currency and credit. In France, it is the Banque de France which assumes this role under the auspices of the European Central Bank (see ECB) while in the UK it is the Bank of England.

of Ecuador), Maria Lucia Fattorelli (former auditor, Ministry of Finance, Brazil, head of the Initiative of the Public Debt Audit for Brazil), Patric Saurin (Bank Employee, trade-union leader of SUD-BPCE, Committee for Public Debt Audit in France –CAC-), Michael Husson (Economist, statistician, Foundation for Economic and Social Research, France), Stavros Tombazos (Professor of Political Economy, University of Cyprus), Ilias Bantekas (Professor of International Law, Brunnel University), Christina Laskaridi (economist, PhD candidate), Despoina Spanou, Thanos Kontargyris (ATTAC), Giannis Papadopoulos, Spyros Marketos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Leonidas Vatikiotis (economist, University of Cyprus), Renaud Vivien (co-general secretary of CADTM-Belgium), Olivier Bonfond (economist, member of the Citizens’ Initiative for a Public Debt audit in Belgium –AciDE-), Moises Litsis (journalist), Daniel Albarracin, Daniel Munevar, Petros Miliarakis, and also new members who were invited and attended the meeting.

Members who didn’t make it to the meeting declared their cooperation and solidarity to the continuation of the Committee’s work namely: Professor Olivier de Schutter, member of the Economic and Social Council of the UN, LSE Professor Margot Salomon, who recently hosted at LSE (London School of Economics) an event regarding the Truth Committee on Public Debt with the participation of Zoe Konstantopoulou, Professor Aris Kazakos, Professor Ozlem Onaran, George and Sonia Mitralias, Sergi Cutillas, Raphael Gonçalves and others.

Zoe Konstantopoulou: The Committee will continue its work whether the Government, the European Commission and the ECB ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is a European institution based in Frankfurt, founded in 1998, to which the countries of the Eurozone have transferred their monetary powers. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone. Its three decision-making organs (the Executive Board, the Governing Council and the General Council) are composed of governors of the central banks of the member states and/or recognized specialists. According to its statutes, it is politically ‘independent’ but it is directly influenced by the world of finance.
like it or not.

The Committee will also invite and welcome other people who are ready to contribute to its work and “will continue existing and taking action, whether the Government, the European Commission and the ECB like it or not”, said Zoe Konstantopoulou during the Press Conference that followed.

The Banking System as the Committee’s next investigation and audit target – Next Meeting in Athens this summer.

The functioning of the domestic banks but also of the ECB will be discussed during the next works of the Truth Committee, which are envisaged for early summer in Athens.

Event at the University of Liege with Zoe Konstantopoulou and Eric Toussaint as speakers, organized by the CADTM.

After the completion of the two-day meeting of the Committee, Zoe Konstantopoulou and Eric Toussaint travelled to Liege, where they were received by the Mayor of the City. They subsequently participated in a live discussion at the University, in a packed room with students, Liege residents and many members of the Greek Community in Belgium, organised by CADTM. The 275 participants welcomed the speakers with enthusiasm, asked questions and greatly applauded Eric Toussaint’s and Zoe Konstantopoulou’s speeches as well as the Committee’s decision to insist on the path of reclaiming of justice for the Greek people and of the truth about the debt.

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