Press Release

Who has been lying : the CADTM or the Paris Club ?

4 June 2016 by CADTM

On Thursday 2 June 2016, the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) issued a press release entitled “The Paris Club will abolish the Greek debt and adopt official statutes” in order to comment a fake press release by the Paris Club that announced two decisions and to spotlight a new information website :

By pretending to be the Paris Club Paris Club This group of lender States was founded in 1956 and specializes in dealing with non-payment by developing countries.

and broadcasting the surprise release the CADTM sought to draw attention to the cartel of creditors that, for sixty years, have discretely served the interests of their members, that is, the world’s twenty richest countries. Though little known to the public, the Paris Club is a powerful instrument in the strategy of domination over the indebted ’Southern’ countries and also over Greece that, since the intervention 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 2010, has become the Club’s principal debtor country.

As Cephas Lumina, former expert to the UN on debt, reminds us, the Paris Club is an organisation that has no legitimacy and works against the interests of people. There is no point in expecting a gesture from the Paris Club in favour of the populations of the countries concerned, such as the unconditional abolition of Greek debt simply because it is unsustainable and illegitimate.

It is significant that the French Ministry of Finance that hosts the Paris Club at French taxpayers’ expense, announced on twitter that our website contains false information, just after the CADTM had posted the following tweet “Le Club de Paris annule la dette de la Grèce pour permettre au gouvernement grec d’assurer les soins de santé et d’éducation (The Paris Club abolishes Greek debt to allow the Greek government to fund health care Care Le concept de « care work » (travail de soin) fait référence à un ensemble de pratiques matérielles et psychologiques destinées à apporter une réponse concrète aux besoins des autres et d’une communauté (dont des écosystèmes). On préfère le concept de care à celui de travail « domestique » ou de « reproduction » car il intègre les dimensions émotionnelles et psychologiques (charge mentale, affection, soutien), et il ne se limite pas aux aspects « privés » et gratuit en englobant également les activités rémunérées nécessaires à la reproduction de la vie humaine. and education)”. This is further evidence that the creditors have no consideration for the human catastrophe they have created by imposing three austerity programmes.

Le tweet émanant du Compte officiel des Ministères économiques et financiers de Bercy

This tweet from Bercy is an occasion to remember that the Paris Club regularly gives out false information when it announces, through ’real’ press releases, that it has totally abolished the debt of certain countries, whereas, the reality is that there has been a partial debt reduction conditioned by the application of austerity policies concluded with the IMF 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.
and the 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, 189 members in 2017), 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.


The Paris Club is judge and party in the processes, so it is not reformable and should therefore be abolished. The CADTM considers that, the debtor countries, from whom the creditors demand illegitimate debt repayments should take sovereign measures for their self-defence and to protect their social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights: by suspending debt repayments, realising audits of their debt (with the participation of their citizens), repudiate the illegitimate and illegal part of the debt. according to international law there is no obligation to continue paying illegitimate debts.

We hope that our press release will have had the effect of bringing this discreet and nefarious cartel to the attention of the public.

Translation : Mike Krolikowski, Vicli Briault

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