Friday, July 3, 2015

On behalf of 3.3 million unionized working people, the Canadian Labour Congress extends its solidarity to the people of Greece. On the eve of Sunday's referendum, the CLC affirms the inalienable right of Greek citizens to democratically decide their political and economic future, which governments and international financial institutions must respect.

Whatever their decision on Sunday, the CLC joins all Greek citizens in rejecting interminable, grinding austerity, the costs of which fall most heavily on pensioners, workers and the poor. For the past five years, the same variety of failed austerity policies imposed on Greece have been applied in Canada, with similarly predictable results: weak and faltering economic growth, a scarcity of jobs, rising inequality, and growing hardship for the most vulnerable. While the suffering inflicted on the Greek people has been an unparalleled disaster, Canadians have endured the same frustrating intransigence and failure of economic leadership now crippling Greece.

In its latest assessment, the International Monetary Fund itself has conceded that the Greek debt is unsustainable. A program of debt relief and targeted investment to support job creation, economic growth, and a sustainable recovery in public finances is urgently needed. We encourage European governments and international creditors to commit to negotiate with the Greek government, with flexibility and good faith, in order to find a feasible, lasting, and humanitarian solution to the economic crisis.