The Big Squeeze: Greece and the struggle to break from austerity
When: November 18, 2015
Discussion on Greece and lessons from international debt campaigns.
Nick Dearden – Director, Global Justice Now
Marina Prentoulis – Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics at the University of East Anglia, and member of Syriza
Michael Gold – Occupy
Wednesday 18 November 7pm
The Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, London, NW1 0PE
History has a habit of repeating itself and offers valuable lessons.
In the 1980s and ’90s, many countries in the global south fell into huge debt stemming from dodgy foreign loans and plunging commodity prices. Unable to repay the vast suns, poorer nations were instructed by international financial institutions, such as the IMF, to comply with strict “structural adjustment programmes”. They were told to shrink the state and sell off industries and public services – often to private companies from the wealthy north. Decades later, many countries remain in dire financial straits.
A similar squeeze is being applied in 21st century Europe. The EU and IMF are subjecting the Greek people to harsh measures: shrinking the state and forcing the sale of public utilities to pay off debts that ballooned after the 2007-8 meltdown in credit markets. Will the squeeze help Greece escape its crisis – or are there better ways?
Parallels can be seen in the austerity being applied in Britain. Is austerity the best way to shake off indebtedness, and what lessons can be learnt?