Brussel 6-8 maart: Conferentie “Alternative solutions to the debt crisis”

6 mrt 2014


Voorlopige agenda (12 februari):

Public Forum

Politics in times of debt crisis

This high-level panel of politicians who are directly involved in managing the debt crisis will discuss how an alternative exit could look, what the lessons from the debt crisis are for EU cooperation and the European financial architecture, and more specifically the role of the European Parliament and other European institutions post-2014.


Alberto Acosta (Economist, former Ecuadorian minister, former president of the constitutional assembly, and presidential candidate)

Giorgos Stathakis (Member of the Greek parliament, Syriza)

Helmut Scholz, (Member of the European Parliament, Die Linke (GUE-NGL), Germany)

Name tbc, (Member of the European Parliament, Bloco, Portugal)

Facilitator: tbc



7th March 2014

09:30-09:45 Welcome and Introduction

Klaus Sühl (Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation, Head of Brussels office)

Jesse Griffiths (Eurodad, Director)


09:45-11:30 Panel Discussion

1.    Who profits from debt and debt Crisis?

This panel will open the conference by providing fundamental perspectives on debt, debt service and debt restructuring or repudiation. It will provide perspectives from Europe and the Global South.  Panellists will discuss the actors that promote the ‘debt regime’ of indebtedness and debt crises. It will also address who benefits from the policy response to the crisis, from bail-out programs and lax monetary policies.


Lidy Nacpil (Freedom from Debt Coalition Philippines & Jubilee South Asia Pacific)

Torben Schenk – (Trade Union representative, tbc)

Leonidas Vatikiotis (Free University of Cyprus)

Bodo Ellmers (Eurodad)

Facilitator: Nessa Ni Chasaide: Debt and Development Coalition Ireland


11:30-11:45 Break

Part II: How to escape from the debt Trap:  Perspectives for different Regions: (Europe and the MENA Region)

11:45-13:30 Panel Discussion

2.    Debt and the Arab Uprisings

This panel is for activists and experts from the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region to present and discuss how MENA countries ended up in the debt trap, how debt impacts on the development of MENA countries and their relations with creditor countries and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the EU. They will also propose ways out of the situation.


Zahra Bazzi (Arab NGO Network for Development)

Fathi Chamki (RAID ATTAC Tunisia)

Mohammed Mossallem (Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debt)

Facilitator: Antonio Gambini (11.11.11/CNCD)


13:30-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-16:00 Panel Discussion

3.    The Private Debt  Crisis in Europe and other World Regions

This panel will focus on the debt crisis of private individuals: The development of “forced capitalists” triggered by the privatisation of former public services, and the surge in consumer credits to finance consumption in times of falling real wages. How and why do people fall into the debt trap of mortgages, consumer credits,


David Harvey (City University of New York, Euro-Memo Group) (tbc)

Susanne Soederberg (Queen’s University, Canada)

Facilitator: Sarah-Jayne Clifton (Jubilee Debt Campaign UK) (tbc)

16:00-16:15 Break

16:15-18:00 Panel Discussion

4.    Debt, Troika and the Eurocrisis

The fourth panel focuses on public debt in Europe: the Euro crisis, how it affected the EU and the role of the different institutions including the Troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Speakers are supposed to reflect on which of the EU’s design faults and policies lead to the crisis, and which policies and institutions the EU would need to get out of it.


Jürgen Klute, (MEP Die Linke) (tbc)

Andy Storey (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Nuno Teles (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Facilitator: Peter Chowla (Bretton Woods Project) (tbc)

19:30 Dinner


8th March 2014

09:30-11:00 Panel Discussion

5.    Country Studies – the debt regime in action


The debt crisis has struck all of Europe, but different countries have been affected differently. This panel will explore a series of country case studies that take a deeper look at how the debt crisis has impacted on different parts of Europe. The case study researchers from Greece, Slovenia and Poland will present their studies and share their insights. The debate should also cover alternative development paths and their feasibility.


Theodorus Paraskevopoulos (Greece[JR2] )

Rea Gavin (Poland)

Sašo Furlan (Slovenia)

Facilitator: Markus Henn (World Economy, Environment and Development – WEED, Germany)

11:00-11:15 Break


Part III: Resistance and Solutions

11:15-13:00 Panel Discussion

6.    Alternative solutions: The Experiences of Argentina, Ecuador and Iceland


While the hegemonic view is that the response to debt crises must be austerity and structural adjustments, many countries successfully chose a different path. There are historical examples where countries defaulted and restructured debt, conducted debt audits to unveil illegitimate debt and/or refused to bail-out private banks. This panel presents the examples of Argentina, Ecuador and Iceland and discusses to what extent they can be replicated elsewhere.


Alan Cibils (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento; Argentina)

Huginn Freyr Borsteinsson (former advisor to the Icelandic finance minister)

Eric Toussaint (CADTM International)

Facilitator:  Maria Dyveke Styve (Norwegian Campaign for Debt Cancellation)


13:00-14:00 Lunch



14:00-15:45 Panel discussion

7.    The struggles for debt audits


Citizen debt audit campaigns that aim to assess the legitimacy or illegitimacy of debts were set up in several countries in Europe and the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region since the crisis started. Where do they stand and how should they proceed?  Activists who have been and continue to be involved in the struggle for debt audits present and discuss at this panel


Jérémie Cravatte (CADTM Belgium)

Jihen Chandoul (Tunisian Observatory of Economy) (tbc)

Nessa Ni Chasaide (Debt and Development Coalition Ireland)

Iolanda Fresnillo (Spanish debt audit campaign)

Christina Laskaridis (Greek audit campaign)

Facilitator: Gina Ekholt – Norwegian Campaign for Debt Cancellation


15:45-16:00 Coffee

16:00-17:45 Panel Discussion

8.    Resistance from Citizens

This panel will present and discuss practical examples of citizen resistance against debt and austerity, and explore whether they can be replicated in other countries


Tonia Katerini (Syriza, Greece)

Victor Tsiafoutis (Legal Advisor of EKPIZO, Greece)

Torben Schenk (trade union representative) (tbc)

Xavi Ferrer (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca, Spain) (tbc)

Facilitator: NN

17:45 – 18:00 Closing

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