Thursday, September 29, 2011

Europe: People vs banks

Dear friends across Europe,

The economic crisis is spiralling out of control and the public is picking up the tab for bankers' failures. Enough is enough. In 4 days European finance ministers meet, let's call on them to back new long-term, people-first policies, and strong measures to tackle speculation. Sign the petition now and forward widely.

Right now, our jobs and services are under threat as speculators gamble and politicians squabble. But in four days Europe's finance ministers are poised to make drastic decisions that could threaten our economy for years to come. Only a mass public outcry now for a cooperative economic approach can protect our future.

Everyday we read headlines: 'Eurozone crisis, turmoil, grim outlook'. Now, some fear a return to the mass unemployment of the 1930s. And to appease the banks, our indebted governments are cutting social spending to save money, triggering riots and recession. But they know we elect them, so if we build a massive European movement now to defend our welfare states and end the cuts we could force them to change course.

Europe's finance ministers meet in Luxembourg on Monday. Let's ensure our voices overwhelm the self-serving calls of the big banking lobbies. Join the urgent call for a new economic order, based on long-term, people-focused spending, and strong measures to tackle and regulate speculation and profiteering. We'll deliver it to the finance ministers meeting next Monday. Sign now and circulate to everyone:

Three years ago, governments bailed out the banks with our money, promising it would save our economies. But having saddled us all with debt, the bankers are now demanding more cash while blocking reforms to fix our broken financial system. Citizens across Europe face threats to the jobs and services that we depend on as massive cuts undermine our health care, schools and basic services.

Governments have responded to the crisis -- which was sparked by reckless financial gambling -- by slashing public spending and cutting services, reducing the money we have available to spend and pushing many small businesses to the wall. If politicians switch gears and start spending on transport, energy, and other services we all need, we can inject money where it's needed and stave off the recession.

But now public frustration is boiling over, and this is our moment to mobilise together behind a new solution to the financial crisis: putting people, not bankers, first. Click below to sign the petition, and we'll deliver it to Finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday:

Collapsing economies often lead to social and political upheaval and away from the world we want. Recessions bring protectionism, nationalism, racism, and a collapse in social solidarity. Today, by building a European movement against the banks and in support of people, we can draw a line in the sand and demand solutions that strengthen communities not corporations, restoring hope and humanity to the world.

With hope,

Alex, Iain, Antonia, Emma, Alice, Maria Paz, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team

More info:

The Guardian -- "Cuts will not end the crisis"

BBC -- "Euro: A 'loose cannon on the deck of the world'?"

FT -- "In depth: Eurozone crisis"

Irish Times -- "Europe clings uselessly to policies of austerity"

Washington Post -- "The global economy waits on action from Berlin"

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