“Austerity” has been the main slogan recently promoted by the Greek authorities and representatives of international financial institutions as the purported solution to the crisis. But the Greek people “believe this is not the case”, Kostis Damianakis, of the Cretan Struggle Network Against Industrial Scale Renewable Sources of Energy, said in interview with Real World Radio.
An example of this, said Kostis, is that in 2008, the year of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Greek government and the so called “troika” (made up by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), the public debt, which used to be 120% of the country’s GDP increased by 170%. “This shows that the austerity measures were not implemented to help, but to enslave the Greek people”, said Kostis.
The Greek activist participated in the International Seminar “Food, Water and Energy Are Not Commodities” held in the Basque country, where he talked about the energy issue in Europe and in Greek, in particular. He highlighted the importance of the seminar to expose water, energy and food commodification “imposed by the system”. He also said it is key to exchange experiences “to see how the advance of capitalism is affecting local communities and entire countries with this model of exploitation of natural resources”.
Cretan Struggle Network Against Industrial Scale Renewable Sources of Energy “is not only a movement of resistance. We also try to do a political and social analysis of our countries’ production process”, he said. Based on this analysis, the energy issue in Greece, where capitalism is advancing on energy resources “is related with the Greek and other countries’ public debt”.
The model of producing renewable energy that is being imposed in the country is not
related with the productive or economic priorities of the people, says Kostis. “It only creates jobs in countries that have renewable energies technology and it helps big manufacturers of infrastructure that profit from public funding. Lastly, this energy will not be used to fight energy poverty in Greece, but it will be exploited to meet the demand of European industrialized countries”.
This process, which Kostis calls “neocolonialism of the south of Europe” is a “historic
opportunity to rethink the agriculture and energy production model and to put those
resources back in people’s hands” through the nationalization and the implementation of fairer models of public administration of resources.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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