European Union, 13th May 2013
For the attention of the Government of the Hellenic Republic, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.
Avanti Europe ! was created in 2011 by a group of concerned Europeans willing to mobilise European citizens across the continent on key European issues, using innovative communication campaigns and participative tools. We focus on common concerns and frustrations that go well beyond national borders and that require European answers. Avanti Europe ! wants an ambitious Union, one that will promote a more democratic and progressive vision of European society, based on its fundamental values of solidarity, freedom, justice and respect for human rights.
We initiated Avanti Europe ! to inject creativity and dynamism in the search for common answers to our common crises; to fight for a united Europe that is democratic, just and prosperous, both close to and cherished by its citizens; to make European citizens’ voices heard in Brussels and in European capitals and to fight against the emerging anti-European discourse.
Avanti Europe ! launched its first campaign on 25 March 2013 entitled “Solidarity with the people in Greece! For a revision of austerity policies”. This campaign was mainly run in Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Greece, moving on to other European countries. It consisted of a short video and a petition text, a powerful Avanti Europe ! website and active social networking, all developed in 7 different languages.
We expressed our frustration towards an unprecedented level of austerity whose weight is falling unequally upon the Greek people who bear least responsibility for the debt and who stand to suffer the most. We denounced the skyrocketed unemployment (particularly for the youth), the increasing poverty and homelessness rate, the cuts in the healthcare system and its consequences, among other effects of the austerity-only approach.
Moreover, the strategy chosen by the Troika has fuelled neo-Nazi movements like Golden Dawn, making it the third party in the Greek Parliament. Many people are getting so angry and desperate that they would even risk sacrificing democracy to make their voice heard.
This is not just a Greek problem; it is also a European one. Greece has made mistakes but the on-going austerity-only policies are not a solution to the crisis. Sustainable economic recovery is not about just balance sheets and fiscal targets. The focus of the consolidation measures should be on fixing the public sector, supporting environmentally sustainable economic growth and social cohesion based on the principle of solidarity whereby stronger shoulders carry more of the heavy load. Europe must prevent the situation in Greece from becoming an out-and-out humanitarian catastrophe and make sure that the same remedy is not applied to other weak economies.
We ask you, members of the Troika and the Greek government, to revise the austerity plan and put humans and their needs at the centre of your decisions.
With European regards,
The Avanti Europe ! Team