Economic Justice

Greek Anti-Austerity Party Vows to Halt Austerity

The Syriza party won 149 seats in Greece's Parliament and formed a coalition government with the conservative Independent Greeks who won 13 seats. Syriza campaigned on promises to cease austerity measures and renegotiate some of Greece's debt.

"A third of all Greeks live below the poverty line and this was the reality they brought to the voting booths," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious financial reform group, Jubilee USA Network.

Syriza Party Poised to Win Greek Elections on Platform of Canceling Austerity and Renegotiating Debt

The anti-austerity Syriza party leads in polls heading into Greece's national elections Sunday. Syriza says if elected it will renegotiate some of Greece's debt and halt austerity policies. Syriza also calls for a European debt conference similar to the 1953 London Conference that relieved German debt and allowed the country to extend debt payments. The 1953 accord led to such incredible economic growth for post World War II Germany that the period is referred to as the "Wirtschaftswunder" or the "economic miracle." 

"It's interesting that Syriza calls for a debt conference," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the debt relief organization Jubilee USA. "It certainly worked for Germany in 1953 and can be a model for heavily indebted countries today."

Greece is the third most heavily indebted country in the world and the most heavily indebted country in Europe. It owes more than $360 billion in total debt. Current polls give Syriza a 4 to 6 percentage point lead over current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' New Democracy Party.

Lisa Kudrow sings about Smelly Kurt Nimmo

 

Haiti Marks Deadly Earthquake's Five-Year Anniversary; Mechanism That Cancelled Haitian Debt Could Help Ebola-Affected Countries

January 12 marks the five-year anniversary of Haiti's 2010 earthquake. The 7.0 quake killed an estimated 230,000 people, injured 300,000 more and displaced 1.5 million Haitians. The earthquake also took an enormous toll on Haiti's economy. The year before the disaster, Haiti's economy grew 3.5 percent - the year after the quake, its growth was negative 5 percent. Even before the earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

"Too many people died during the earthquake because they lived in unsafe conditions," said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA. "This anniversary reminds us that poverty makes natural disasters even more deadly."

In the quake's aftermath, Jubilee USA called on the international community to cancel Haiti's debt. At the time, Haiti owed nearly $1 billion in external debt.

Argentina Debt Resolution Possible As Contract Clauses Expire; Concerns Continue Over Global Impacts of Debt Dispute

An Argentina bond contract clause expires on December 31 raising the possibility that hold-out hedge funds and Argentina could settle a long running debt dispute. After defaulting in 2001, Argentina restructured its debt with 92% of its bondholders and put in place the Rights Upon Future Offers or RUFO clause.

Countries Affected by Ebola Lose $1.4 Billion Annually to Debt, Corruption and Tax Evasion; Outflows Dwarf Money in Health Care

New reports show that the Ebola-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone lose an average of $1.4 billion each year to corruption, debt payments and tax evasion. Global Financial Integrity (GFI) calculates the three countries lost about $1.3 billion per year to corruption and tax evasion in the decade leading up to the Ebola outbreak.

United Nations Votes for Process to Create Global Bankruptcy Framework

UN Process Could Limit Default and Stop Predatory Funds

African Mayors Call for Debt Cancellation for Ebola-Stricken West Africa

G20 Moves Forward on Ebola Debt Relief Plan. 

Interview with Raj Patel on Nutrition Gender and Food Security in Africa

Raj Patel, the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing, will speak on “Nutrition, Gender and Food Security in Africa." Patel is a Research Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, a Visiting Professor at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University in South Africa, and a Fellow at The Institute for Food and Development Policy. His current writing and film project is “Generation Food.” The event is sponsored by UT’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Produced / Edited by Jeffry Zavala. Videography by Grace Alfar, Jeff Zavala, & Ellie Main. An Austin Indymedia Production. http://Austin.Indymedia.org

Raj Patel on Nutrition, Gender and Food Security in Africa

Raj Patel, the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing, will speak on “Nutrition, Gender and Food Security in Africa." Patel is a Research Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, a Visiting Professor at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University in South Africa, and a Fellow at The Institute for Food and Development Policy. His current writing and film project is “Generation Food.” The event is sponsored by UT’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Produced / Edited by Jeffry Zavala. Videography by Grace Alfar, Jeff Zavala, & Ellie Main. An Austin Indymedia Production. http://Austin.Indymedia.org

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