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A few days before the celebration of the Regional Assembly of Friends of the Earth Europe that took place in Spain in the beginning of June, the Conference "Europe: a continent that consumes for three" was held in Madrid. This conference took place in La Tabacalera Social Centre and had the participation of members of Friends of the Earth International from Latin America (Brazil, Costa Rica and Colombia) and other allied organizations from Spain.
Real World Radio´s correspondent, Danilo Urrea, interviewed David Llistar of the Observatory on Debt in Globalization (ODG) who was one of the speakers at the development panels in the Conference analyzing the current trends of transnational power.
About this, Llistar said that "in this globalization process there is a network of laws, regulations and decisions that are completely favorable to some companies or transnational capital groups which are rewarded, promoted, given impunity and financially supported with public funds to the detriment of human rights".
And the movements are resisting these processes, said Llistar: "We see organizations around the world analyzing this situation and building international networks to oppose, resist and make political proposals around this constitutional neoliberalism taking over the five continents in almost all types of countries, in democracies kidnapped by business oligopolies".
In the context of the European economic crisis and after years of systematic work to build solidarity networks between the North and the South to face conflicts associated to the power of transnational companies and their practices of human rights violations, Llistar expressed his ideas about the path we need to take in terms of the new options to build solidarity and international support.
"The relationship between the North and the South is no longer a geographical one, and it is now more global or transnational. (...) Currently with the crisis in Europe we are more focused on how the capital is acting in the South of Europe and we are analyzing the debt from the point of view of an illegitimate debt generated in our administrations; we are creating networks to denounce this debt and demand its non-payment", said Llistar. "However, we do not want to lose the connection with the work and solidarity networks among us (North-South) because they are necessary to face transnational actors and to maintain a degree of sensitivity towards other people with a more global vision", he added.
About the statement of Europe as a continent that consumes for three, and which according to the opinions and ideas expressed at the conference means the need of three planets to cover the current consumption demands in Europe, the ODG member highlighted that "we are totally immersed in a logic of short-term benefits, a capitalist logic with cognitive frameworks that help understand the market and not other alternatives. Both the small consumer and the big capital share this logic, and although the 1% is enjoying it and the 99% isn´t, they share responsibility. The problem is with the promoters of this system who want more markets, more neoliberalism and more capitalism, so we need to get out of this system, giving visibility to the problems it entails, and being aware of the need to struggle and to stand strong as necessary. Until we don´t change the European social metabolism, organize the society in a different way and relocalize economy, we will continue with this over-consumption".
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