Category: EU-IMF Deal

People Before Profit TD says Irish people should support today’s General strike and growing protests in Greece against latest austerity deal
imageIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett has said the IMF’s warning that Greece needs a major write-down of debt in contrast to hard-line stance of the Eurozone, confirms that “the Greek people are victims of pure political bullying by the EU, not sound or sustainable economic policy.

Deputy Boyd Barrett condemned “the particularly disgraceful role of the Irish government” who had, according to the former Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, “acted as the enemies” of Greece in not seeking a write-down of their unsustainable debt.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said that he fully supported the general strike and mass protests taking place today in Greece against the new EU austerity package and “the tragic decision of Tsipras Government to accept such a humiliating deal”.

The People before Profit TD said he was travelling to Greece this weekend to speak at a conference of the left in Athens, where he would be “pledging the support of PBPA to the political forces and protests in Greece opposed to the austerity deal”.

Richard Boyd Barrett said, “The IMF has confirmed what any child could see, namely that Schauble and the EU bullies, including our government, refused Greece a debt write-down and relief from austerity, for political reasons. Their aim was to crush political opposition to austerity.

It’s totally shameful and the role of Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and Joan Burton in all of this has been particularly despicable. However, the battle is not over by any means. There is a massive general strike in Greece today and protest building against the tragic decision of Tsipras government to capitulate to the EU’s shameful bullying.

The Tsipras government does not have the mandate to accept this terrible deal after the referendum a week ago and the people of Greece are right to take to the streets.

They are fighting for all of us by striking and taking to the streets today, and people should support those protests regardless of the decisions of the Tsipras government.

I will be travelling to Greece this weekend to extend the solidarity of PBPA to those forces that are continuing the fight for debt relief and an end to austerity.
The huge support for the water charges boycott here in Ireland will be a message of hope for the people of Greece that they are not alone in fighting the disaster of austerity.

This is a battle, whether here, in Greece, or anywhere, that was always going to be won on the streets, not in negotiations with the bad faith partners of the EU elites”.

People Before Profit has condemned the EU’s blackmail of Greece
 In the last two weeks, the EU engaged in a silent coup to break the radical left government of Greece. They imposed humiliating terms of surrender on it in order to spread a message of fear across Europe. That message is ‘lie down and accept reality as we define it’

The EU’s dealing with Greece has revealed its true nature. It has become an undemocratic machine for imposing economic terror on any government that moves beyond the neo-liberal consensus. It has succeeded in frightening the leaders of Syriza – but at the cost of awakening the hatred of millions across Europe.

The Irish government played the role of a cheerleader to the EU bullies – but it did so at the cost of throwing away an opportunity to a write down of Irish debt. That debt will now hang around the necks of Irish people until 2053 – thanks to Kenny’s involvement in punishing the Greeks.

Some of the media framed the issue as ‘the Greeks looking for more money’. The reality, however, is that none of the original €7.5 billion that the Greeks requested was to be used to fund public services. It was only used to repay back previous loans. Greece had been put on a treadmill of austerity from which it cannot escape.

The Troika originally intervened in Greece to safeguard wealthy private creditors in 2012. In return for a haircut on their loans, these investors got EU institutions and the IMF to fund a Greek loan that guaranteed them re-payments. These ‘loans’ triggered further austerity and created the latest crisis.

So the issue was never about Greek people begging for more from other people in Europe. It was always about a devious mechanism to make the Greek people pay for debts to wealthy bondholders. Which is precisely what happened the people of Ireland.

People Before Profit hopes that many Syriza MPs will vote against the deal – even if it means a split in their party.

We hope there is a huge response to a call for a 24 hour general strike against this deal.

But whatever happens we are confident that this deal is not the final word. The Greek people who voted NO a week ago are not as cowardly as their leaders and resistance will inevitably re-emerge

For us in Ireland the lessons are obvious.

The government says that there can be no further discussion about breaking from austerity if a country wishes to remain in Europe.

We say the exact opposite: there can be no future for an EU that operates as a concentration camp for opponents of austerity.

It is time to re-assert the value of democracy against the silent tyranny of an EU that is now based on a vicious combination of bureaucratic control and neo-liberal economics.


imageThe Greek No vote is a signal that people will no longer be intimidated by money markets or EU bureaucrats. The leaders of the EU tried to promote a silent coup against the radical left government but failed. They tried to manufacture economic chaos by limiting emergency liquidity funding in order to instil a politics of fear. But the Greek people saw through their manoeuvres. For the moment at least, democracy and dignity have defeated the anonymous power of money.
The Irish political establishment were totally complicit in the EU’s economic terrorism. They wanted to teach their own population a lesson about ‘accepting reality’. But it has re-bounded on them and the painful failures of the Irish elite are now exposed. They have argued that ‘quiet diplomacy’ was the only way to alleviate Irish debt. At one stage they even claimed that their efforts had brought about a ‘game changer’. The Greeks, however, have shown that far more will be achieved by standing up to blackmail than by succumbing to it.
A challenge now faces the Syriza government itself. Their population have voted against austerity and many will be hoping that no further compromises are offered to the EU. The next few days will be a testing time for both the EU leaders and the radical left government.
It is our hope that Syriza resists austerity and are not sucked back into some austerity-lite compromise. If they stand firm they will help to promote the contagion of resistance throughout Europe. If they buckle, however, there is a militant workers movement who can spearhead the fight.
Fear has at last changed sides. The EU elite have now much to worry about. The battle against their tyranny has stepped up a gear.


financial transaction tax“On May 6th 11 other EU countries plan to announce a Financial Transaction Tax but Ireland is not among them. Independent Think-Tank TASC estimate a financial transaction tax could raise €500 million, which could cancel the cost of the proposed water tax at €537 million”, said Richard Boyd Barrett, PBPA director of elections.

Cllr Brid Smith, People Before Profit Dublin Euro candidate said, “The Labour Party in particular has a simple choice – tax the bankers or tax ordinary workers more. They could scrap the water tax and tax the speculators who caused the economic crash instead. Labour and FG have no problem taxing transactions, ordinary shopping transactions are taxed at 23% VAT. Why can’t they put a similar tiny tax on speculators’ transactions?”

Tina MacVeigh, local election candidate in the Dublin Crumlin-Kimmage area said: “It’s time we made the bankers pay for the misery they have caused to millions of lives across Europe. Not a single banker has been jailed because of the economic crisis they caused. Sean Fitzpatrick and the Anglo banksters have walked away unscathed. Meanwhile 411 people went to jail last year for not being able to afford the TV license. A financial transaction tax is a small way to make the bankers pay for the misery they caused.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance speaking on the Central Bank Bill 2014, during Dail debate on Wednesday 9th April 2014.

During Questions to the Minister in the Dail today, Tuesday 8th April, 2014, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance backed union calls for wage increases.