Press release

Towards the Week of Global Action against Debt and IFIs

11 July 2013 by PACD

From May 31st to June 2nd the III State Meeting of the Spanish Citizen Debt Audit Platform (PACD)– We don’t owe! We won’t pay! took place. Activists from all over the Spanish State (as well as some from Portugal and Belgium)participated in this meeting, that took place in Barcelona, where they put together all the work done by the regional groups and developed the strategy for the next months.

Three days of intense work at the fantasticcollectivised space of Aurea Social. The meeting started with an international conference organized by the Observatory of Debt in Globalization (ODG), where different activists fighting against the oppression of debt in Tunisia, Ecuador, Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Spain were heard. During this third encounter it was visible how the PACD has been growing in strength since it first started in October 2011. Nowadays it has become a reference for the fight against debt and austerity both inside and outside our borders, through the International Citizen Debt Audit Network (ICAN).

From this third encounter a road map has emerged with the following guidelines: consolidating the debate on the illegality of debt; advancing towards terrains such as municipal audits; promoting the contents generated by the platform; and deepening into the research developed by the PACD on different fields (financial, gender, social, ecological, etc.). A road map that gives us a special date for our calendars: the Week of Global Action against Debt and International Financial Institutions, that will take place from October 8th to 15th. The PACD places this event in the horizon as a key date to mobilize citizens in a unanimous shout against the ransom of our democracies by the financial powers.

The PACD categorically rejects the interference of 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.

in politics that condition our lives.

During their third visit to Madrid, framed by a series of visits for regular inspection, control and recommendation, the representatives of the Troika (the triumvirate formed by the European Commission, the European 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.

and the International Monetary Fund IMF
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.
) met with different representatives of the main banking institutions, the Ministry of Economy and the Bank of Spain. The PACD rejects the lack of transparency around these meetings that are so important to our lives, and that its main contents are not shown to the population. The Troika is dictating the politics that the government must follow. Is an electoralprocess regarding economic policies still viable if they are imposed from outside?

The PACD denounces the unacceptable neo-colonialist interference of the Troika and calls on the social movements to fight together to free ourselves from the tutelage of creditors.

When the policies of a country are imposed by institutions of anti-democratic nature (such as the European Commission, 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.
and the IMF); when in addition the catastrophic results for the population of their “recommendations” are widely known; and when all of the social achievements that were conquered through hard work are being dismantled, it is the duty of all citizens to stand in the defence of our rights, of justice and democracy.

The PACD fully supports and calls to continue with the mobilizations against the Troika and their murderous debt, imposed on the people through bank rescues, cuts on essential services and unfair tax adjustments.

The PACD denounces that the debt is still rising with economic policies that are in clear benefit of the 1% and in detriment for the 99%.

Meanwhile, the public debt keeps rising due to bank rescues and regressive tax policies, among other factors. This week we have seen published the last public debt figures that, according to the calculation system of “excessive deficit” (the one officially approved by the EU), is getting close to a trillion Euros. According to the figures published by the Bank of Spain, the global debt of public administrations reached 922,828 million Euros on the first trimester of the year. This amounts to a rise of 19% compared to the same period last year and reaching 88,2% GDP GDP
Gross Domestic Product
Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of total production within a given territory equal to the sum of the gross values added. The measure is notoriously incomplete; for example it does not take into account any activity that does not enter into a commercial exchange. The GDP takes into account both the production of goods and the production of services. Economic growth is defined as the variation of the GDP from one period to another.
, a new historical record. Nevertheless we must take into account that this figure is incomplete. The public debt calculated according to the “outstanding liabilities Liabilities The part of the balance-sheet that comprises the resources available to a company (equity provided by the partners, provisions for risks and charges, debts). ” method, that also includes commercial debts, has reached, on December 31st 2012, the amount of 1,17 trillion Euros, breaking the trillion Euros barrier. The PACD considers these calculations, that are not offered by trimester, to be more accurate regardingthe indebtedness situation of the Spanish public administrations, even though the “excessive deficit” debt is the one used to compare us with our European neighbours.

We do not consider it a minor differentiation, given that in December 2012 the amount of the commercial debts, ignored in the last data published by the Bank of Spain, were already higher than 100 thousand million Euros.

We understand that debt is rising due to the financial bailouts and the lack of our government’s political will to undertake a profound tax reform, that not only results in a profound progressive taxation (in which the ones that have more really pay more), as in a real fight against fraud and tax evasion. We insist that only exercising the right to reject illegitimate debt we can start to think about getting out of this crisis.

#NotOurDebt #DontOweWontPay
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