In relation to the Troika, neither the people nor the individual states of the European Union are sovereign. Economic rescue is being accepted at the loss of popular sovereignty. The exchange currency of these alleged ‘rescues’ comes in the form of neoliberal control, wage cuts, pension cuts, tax increases, layoffs, and all kinds of privatisation. It is the citizens of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Cyprus who are paying for the systemic problems of the economy and the mistakes that were made by financial institutions. The treaties of the European Union have fuelled the rise of the extreme right, and have become a means to override democratic control over production and distribution of wealth. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, stated clearly: “There can’t be any democratic decision against the European treaties”. The situation in Greece has also shown that the European Central Bank is neither independent nor apolitical. At the service of the bankers and their political agents, it is ready to suppress any democracy at the push of a button. Governments, rather than give in to demands for democracy from citizens, use brutality to end their resistance. These are policies that sacrifice the interests of the majority to benefit the interests of a tiny minority.
Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy is as a tool based on the civil disobedience used by various independence movements. As the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said, the Troika, its rescues and memorandums “have a colonial nature.” Fiscal resistance was one of the strategies of civil disobedience that led India to independence from the British Empire. The project replicates the same strategy of response and resistance, aimed squarely at the Troika, who have conducted ‘coups’ against several EU governments. At the annual conference of the European Peoples Party, of which Fine Gael is a member, Taoiseach Enda Kenny evoked the term himself, comparing the arrival of the Troika in Ireland to a ‘bloodless coup” which resulted in the harsh economic decisions taken.
In this context we propose civil disobedience as an action against a series of decisions made by state powers that affect our democratic principles. As individuals – as free beings – we have in civil disobedience and self-empowerment two key tools of political action. As global citizens, we have a responsibility to try to make the world in which we live and in which we act reflect our ideologies and democratic principles.
The establishment of the Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy is not only a proposal for coordinated civil disobedience, but is also an action strategy that wants to deepen a vision of the world that is committed to self-empowerment. That is why we have constructed a project around economic disobedience – actions of civil disobedience aimed to liberate ourselves from private or state economic power, and to derive our resources from the current economic system to alternative constructions for the common good.