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

Monday 6 June 2016, by CADTM

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

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 : clubdeparis.fr.

By pretending to be the Paris Club 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 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 clubdeparis.fr 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 and education)". This is further evidence that the creditors have no consideration for the human catastrophe they have created by imposing three austerity programmes.

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 and the World Bank.

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.

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