“Together We Can Put an End to the Problems of Debt and Austerity in Europe”

EL and transform! europe invite to a conference:

International Trade Union House
Boulevard du Roi Albert II, No. 5
1210 Brussels


Languages: English, French, Greek, Spanish, German 


A few weeks before crucial European elections, the proposals of the European Left shall be discussed with the world of work, trade unionists, social movements and critical intellectuals.


The financial crisis, “bailouts” of banks and the consequences of austerity policies deeply question the economic and monetary choices of the European Union. Mass unemployment, economic crisis: we are faced with the failure of the neoliberal model. The austerity programs imposed under the auspices of the Troika increased public debt and lead to deadlock.

The time has come to say “stop” to austerity, but also to provide solutions to overcome the crisis, loosen the stranglehold of debt, define together the foundations of a new economic and social policy for the future of Europe and investments required to achieve this.

It is in this context, a few weeks before crucial European elections, that we wish to discuss the proposals of the European left with the world of work, trade unionists, social movements, critical intellectuals and all the political forces who reject austerity and seek progressive issues for the peoples of Europe.

We have the pleasure to invite you to the first conference “TOGETHER we can put an end to the problems of debt and austerity in Europe”, to be held on 10 April 2014 in Brussels, in the hall of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions, with the presence of Alexis Tsipras, candidate of the Party of the European Left for the Presidency of the European Commission.


Final programme (pdf, 132 KB) on the right at “Documentation”



Opening by Yiannis Milios (EL Economic policy working group) & Walter Baier (transform! europe)

Introduction by Pierre Laurent, President of the EL

Proposals of the EL by Alexis Tsipras, Candidate of the left for the Presidency of the European Commission

Intervention of Gabi Zimmer, President of the GUE-NGL group at the European Parliament

10.45-11.00 Coffee break

11.00-13.00Session 1: Analysis

(Moderation: Elisabeth Gauthier, member of the Board of transform! europe, Espaces Marx, France)

Connecting the debt crisis with the question of the crisis in the financial system and neoliberal policies. The Troika intervention. The ECB and the Banking Union.

Elena Papadopoulou (Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Greece)
Trevor Evans (EuroMemorandum steering committee, UK)
Alberto Garzon (MP, Izquierda Unida, Spain)
Ricardo Cabral (Vice-Rector of Madeira’s University, Portugal)

Interventions by:
Kate Hudson (Coalition of Resistance, UK)
Sargon Nissan (IMF Programme Manager, The Bretton Woods Project, UK)
Francisco Louca (Bloco de Esquerda, economist, Portugal)
Hans Genefke (Red-Green Alliance-Member of the economic policy committee, Denmark)
Liem Hoang Ngoc (MEP, France)
Alda Sousa (MEP, Portugal)
Hayri Kozanoglu (ODP-Party Council member, Turkey)

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.00 Session 2: Objectives

(Moderation: Margarita Mileva, EL vice-president)

Productive and social transformation. Closing the gap between rich and poor EU countries.

Euklid Tsakalotos (MP, SYRIZA, Greece)
Eric Toussaint (CADTM president, Belgium)
Fabio Amato (member of the EL Secretariat, Italy)

Interventions by:
Peter Damo (Teachers trade union, Romanian Social Forum)
Karoly Gyorgy (International secretary of the National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions, MSZOSZ, Hungary)
Dragan Nikcevis (Institute for Labour studies, Slovenia)
Marie-Christine Vergiat (MEP, France)
Jose Antonio Garcia Rubio (Izquierda Unida’s responsible for economy, Spain)
Xavier Dupret (economist Gresea, Belgium)
Themis Kotsifakis (president of OLME-Federation of State School Teachers of Secondary Education, Greece)
Manuel Martin Garcia (President of the Federation of the Associations for the Defence of Public Health, Spain)

16.00-17.00Session 3: Other Experiences from Latin America/Iceland

(Moderation: Maite Mola, EL vice-president)

Iole Iliada Lopes (Vice-president of Perseu Abramo Foundation, Brazil)
Lilja Mosessdottir (economist, MP, Iceland)

Interventions by:
Willy Meyer (MEP, Spain)
Olgher Santo Domingo (Foro Sao Paolo – European secretariat)
Obey Ament (coordinator EL-Latin America working group)

17.00-17.15 Coffee break

17.15-19.15 Session 4: Proposals

(Moderation: Adoracion Guaman, teacher of labour law, University of Valence, FEC/FIM, Spain)

Reclaiming democracy, debt cancellation and restructuring, transforming ECB, establishment of a European social and economical fund, a New (European) Deal, a new european fiscal policy for income and wealth redistribution.

Joachim Bischoff (economist, Journal „Sozialismus“, Germany)
Teppo Eskelinen (political philosopher and director of Left Forum, Finland)
Heinz Bierbaum (member of the Executive Board of Die Linke, Germany)
Paloma Lopez (CC.OO, Spain)

Interventions by:
Felipe van Keirsbilck (Secretary general of CNE-CSC, Belgium)
Martin Ehrenhauser (MEP, Austria)
Marisa Matias (EL vice-president)
Ivan H. Ayala (EcoNuestra – Coordination Commission Representative)
Unai Sordo (CC.OO, Basque country)
Jean-Christophe Le Duigou (economist, CGT trade unionist, France)

19.15-20.00Conclusions by Frederic Boccara (EL Economic policy working group) & Haris Golemis (transform! europe)