Financial fools day – We won't pay for their crisis

1 April 2009

Brussels, 1 April – Brussels-based environment, development, farming and transparency campaign organisations today denounce the EU's continuing contribution to the financial crises and the limited solutions it is advocating at the G20 with a theatre spectacle in front of the European Council from 12.30-13.15.

Politicians and citizens will battle their way out of the financial crisis, to the backdrop of a stock-exchange on stilts – all part of "Financial Fools Day", a global day of action on the eve of tomorrow's G20 meeting in London.

Alex Wilks from the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said:"The ostrich approach to regulation – put your head in the sand and hope for the best – has been exposed as a sham, as many protesters have said for years. European companies and governments bear a big responsibility for the current crisis. Yet EU proposals for the G20 offer little for ordinary citizens in Europe, and the pledges for the world's poorer regions to be announced tomorrow will be a mere drop in the ocean compared to the dramatic impact of the crisis."

 

Campaigners are concerned that European governments are bailing out the banks responsible for the crisis without demanding significant regulatory concessions in exchange. And European governments are relying on the advice of controversial bankers, continuing to promote further financial services liberalisation in trade negotiations, and failing to regulate European-based hedge funds. Developing countries are being hard hit by the financial and economic crisis, but are being given no additional support by European governments.

Paul de Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe said:"We are witnessing not just a financial crisis, but a global systemic crisis with environmental, social, economic and democratic dimensions. Banks need to be held fully accountable for the impacts they have on the environment, food prices, destruction of biodiversity, climate change. To tackle this crisis we need a radical departure from the current economic and social model"

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Pictures of the action will be available from: http://www.eurodad.org/gallery/