When citizens of a country are called upon to sacrifice more and more of their liberty, quality of life and dignity the only words to describe the situation, to use a cliché, is ‘Greek Tragedy’, and a protracted tragedy it is too.
For the last seven long years the Greek people have been living under reduced circumstances in a sort of puppetry existence where the rules of their lives have been dictated by an alliance called the Troika – the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank.
More recently the IMF has started to change the tune to which Greek people and their politicians have been forced to dance to. It is calling for Greece to be granted debt relief but all this may be too late. Pensions have been cut 12 times since the financial crisis started. Creditors are demanding more cuts even though there are well documented hardship cases of pensioners scrounging through bins for food.
In 2015 and 2016 there were shortages of vital medicines as pharmacies struggled to meet demand with a diminished supply. There is a brain drain as educated people flee in search of jobs and a standard of living that is unfettered from the top down political harshness Greece is experiencing.
A particular defining moment in the Greek crisis occurred in June 2015 when the European Central Bank shut Greek banks.
DiEM25 launches #TheGreekFiles, a campaign to support a freedom of information request for legal documents on the ECB’s closure of Greece’s banks in 2015
The former well known finance minister for Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, has been requesting access to the information on why the European Central Bank acted as it did. Because this has not been forthcoming a Freedom of Information (FOI) request will be filed by Yanis and the Die Linke member of the European parliament, Fabio De Masi, on 8 March in Brussels.
The questions that they are seeking answers to are as follows;
• Did the European Central Bank (ECB) act within its mandate when it shut down Greece’s banks in June 2015?
• Were the ECB’s actions that led to the imposition of capital controls in Greece legal?
A livestreamed press conference will be held on Wednesday, March 8 at 10am CET at the European Parliament in Brussels.
For more information please click here.
For further information on the background to this FOI please click here
This move is being supported by DiEM25, a pan-European, cross-border movement co-founded by Yanis who want the EU to be reformed. Please consider joining DiEM 25 and supporting this initiative if you believe in a united Europe that ought to be transparent and democratic.