So it is “Cabin crew, doors to manual” and, as you settle back and prepare to hand over €20 for an easyMeal, you may be reflecting on that delightful week you just had in the Med – the bustling marinas, the crowded restaurants – and you may conceivably have been persuaded by all those UK cheerleaders for the EU that the euro crisis is indeed at an end.
You may now go along with the fashionable pro-EU narrative, that the nice Mr Draghi of the European Central Bank has cracked it, that the euro is in robust health, that Club Med countries are on the way to durable recoveries. And you may even ask yourself whether they are therefore right – those same London-based cheerleaders for the EU – when…
29 February 2016
Human Rights Council
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights on his mission to Greece*
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with international lawyer and professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of February 18-24, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is international lawyer and professor of international law at The University of Illinois Dr. Francis Boyle. Boyle has served as legal counsel to the Palestinian Authority, to Hawaiian independence groups, and served on the legal team which led to the conviction of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes. Professor Boyle, welcome to our program today.
Greek or English subtitles available in video settings.
Documentary by Harald Schumann and Árpád Bondy. Initial broadcast on 09/03/2015 (ARD; German Public TV). Greek and English translation and subtitling by EPAM International Relations.
Pensioners taking part in a protest against austerity outside the Greek financial ministry in Athens in December. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP
As economists, we note that the historical evidence demonstrates the futility and dangers of imposing unsustainable debt and repayment conditions on debtor countries; the negative impact of austerity policies on weakening economies; and the particularly severe effects that flow on to the poorest households.
We therefore urge the troika (EU, European Centra Bank and IMF) to negotiate in good faith with the Greek government so that there is a cancellation of a large part of the debt and new terms of payment which support the rebuilding of a sustainable economy. This settlement should mark the beginning of a new EU-wide policy framework favouring pro-growth rather than deflationary policies (Report, 14 January).
Five years after the Wall Street crash of September 2008, figures compiled by Britain’s House of Commons Library on wage rates in the 27-member European Union show that workers’ living standards have been thrown into sharp reverse.
The statistics belie claims that the euro zone has “turned the corner” with a modest rise in growth over the last quarter. The situation is particularly acute in those countries that have been subject to the dictates of the “troika”—the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—which has overseen massive cuts in social spending as demanded by the international banks.
In Greece, wages have fallen by 11.3 percent since the autumn of 2010 [EPAM-International’s comment: the actual wage reduction is much bigger!]. The UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies has (more…)