This is the English version of the opinion editorial published on 18 February 2015 to launch the People to People campaign. The original French text appeared in Mediapart.
The ECB and our governments seem to have decided, on our behalf and using our taxes, to drive the newly elected Greek government to the most serious extreme. They argue that they do not want to pay – or make us pay – for Greece. They should remember that the money available to them is a result of our productivity and creativity, that they have raised it from us; we are not all living off rents.
What if, despite those institutions, we do want to pay for Greece ? Not in order to repay an unfair debt, but to support a Greek people who dared to reaffirm their very right to survival and dignity by voting for Syriza. Let us support Greece’s right to existence; let’s pay so that Greece can develop peacefully; let’s pay so that Greece has the financial means to take social action; let’s pay to exist and to shame our own governments.
And let’s pay so that a civil and political society might be brought to life throughout Europe, a society which can take part in the debate and influence the worrying future of the whole continent .
Our present French government, who call themselves ‘socialist’, campaigned in 2012 with a focus on Europe, and on the need to find ways of acting which no longer denied whole nations the right to life itself. Let us remember that the child mortality rate has constantly increased with the austerity policies imposed on Greece by the Troïka and Europe. This « socialist » government has proved once more to be deficient in its commitments and therefore in ours. It makes us unfit, as a French nation, to have a say in changing this inglorious history of Europe as a continent, and of the European Union as an institution.
It represents a desertion. It brings back bad memories such as the abandonment of the Spanish Republic by the popular-front government. It had led to the worst. The worst could yet happen: Greece does not have the means of production to opt out of the Euro zone and the European Union, to be self-sufficient and to survive; it could be forced into dangerous alliances.
The worst can emerge everywhere across Europe: the extreme-right wings and the far right, by focusing on the loss of hope and bleak future, have already clearly contributed to arouse xenophobic hatred.
Many of us do not want it to happen: it would mean a moral bankrupcy of the European idea through the lack of solidarity, the inability to maintain the real conditions for peace and justice in Europe.
Many of us do not want it to happen: is would mean the moral bankrupcy of all institutions claiming to represent the values of the left and of democracy.
Therefore we must unite against those who oppose the very idea of democratic control. Let us organize a real social and political solidarity to reinstall a democratic control.
The life of poor people is more sacred than the property of rich people, a register of grievances stated in 1789. The life of Greek people and Greece, their continued membership of the European Union, and peace within Europe are much more sacred than this unfair debt, which could so easily be erased.
For ALL these reasons, we are launching a fundraising campaign for social action in Greece so that all those who donate will express their right as citizens to contribute democratically to the power struggle.
We invite everyone to contribute to the fund, and to begin the restoration of European democracy through civic and civil involvement. And we invite all those who share these aims to start initiatives in other European countries.
The fundraising is open and you can contribute on the KissKissBankBank platform.