SAND IN THE WHEELS (n°89) ATTAC Weekly newsletter - Wednesday 11/07/01

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>>Quarterly Reports
International Trade & WTO - 1
Finance & Economy - 1
Debt & Development - 1


1- Invitation from ATTAC Italia

No need to RSVP just come, in Genoa. Here is the presentation of the different events and general advices.

2- ATTAC will fly and some other news

Already things are starting to be set as far as demonstrations, places to be and to stay, conferences and so on. The Italian movements have built a wide coordination that is helping to show unity on front of the G8. At the border there will be also a convergence center to help everyone to pass it and arrive in Genoa on time.

3- Genoa - Unlawful debt or financial crime against human development.

Not only the debt burden could be morally wrong, but also unlawful. Most of the debt crisis, ie the heavy pay-backs to banks and other commercial or governmental agencies, is due to two factors. One being the forced liberalization "advised" by the international financial institutions, the second being corruption and money laundering circuits often similar, even the same, that the official financial ones.

4- From July the 19th till the 21st, in Genoa, face to G-7, general mobilisation!

There is a time to discuss and talk, think, build proposals and this time will happen in Genoa. But there is also a time to mobilize and be in the streets, a time to show our determination, our strength, but also our imagination and our coordination, well this time too will happen in Genoa.

5- Know your rights

For those of you that are planning to come to Genoa, please read this to be informed on your rights.

6- Another world is possible

So far about sixty Members of the European Parliament have committed themselves to set up an international parliamentary network. It was launched at Porto Alegre, at the end of the first parliamentary world forum last January and it is slowly taking shape.

7- WTO Tidbits

India lists its do's and don'ts for Doha, while the EU begs to differ from US proposals. Meanwhile,Italy's Berlusconi gets pre-Genoa jitters - and in Columbia, tragedy momentarily gives way to farce.

1- Invitation from ATTAC Italia

By Iantorno Fiorino Pietro

1. - Report on our meeting with Italian authorities

Here is a short report on my meeting with the head of the local police and with the prefect of Genoa, a meeting at which I was representing Attac Italy. No measure will be taken to prevent participants from reaching Genoa. We are thus assured that all those who wish to join us here will be able to do so.

However, the Italian authorities will check papers at the borders. It is thus essential that everybody have his or her identity card or passport. We have been officially assured that the kind of problems encountered at Ventimiglia (on the occasion of the Nice meeting) will not occur again.

Coming by air. The two motorways from the airport will be closed. Coming by road. Buses coming from France will be delayed but should eventually reach Genoa.

Coming by boat. Genoa harbour will be closed, so participants coming by boat will have to get off at Savona or La Spezia and come by bus or train.

Coming by train. On our insistence, authorities have agreed to keep the Brignole station open, as a consequence all trains will be directed to the Brignole station. The other Genoa railway station, Principe, lies in the red area and will thus be closed.

As important delays are likely, it is advisable to leave 4 to 5 hours earlier than initially scheduled.

The yellow area (an area that covers the whole town and in which demonstrations are forbidden) has been cancelled to the east. The West Side of the town is still out of bounds for us because the local authorities want to retain a safe way out for participants in the G8 meeting.

Available areas: The local authorities have agreed to our organising forums in the Marassi area (around the stadium). We are not likely to be allowed into the stadium but we can use the field around it. They have also granted us three fairly large 'green' areas: Il Calvini, Il Gentile, and Lo Scorbia. We can also settle in two schools (Martin Luther King and il Detoni). We have asked for free access to an area in the west called Campi but are still waiting for an official answer. We have again asserted that the GSF actions will be peaceful and non-violent, but that our end still is to prevent the G8 meeting from taking place. We haven't received any answer. Consequently, we consider that our encircling the red area and our investing the yellow area in the west are legitimate actions. Our main field of action will be east and west of this yellow area.

Finally, the head of the police force assured that no fire weapons would be used. Italian policemen present at Göteborg disapproved of their Swedish colleagues' behaviour and found it irresponsible. The head of police reasserted that there were no amateurs in the Italian police force, that Italy is a democratic country, and that a nation that shoots at demonstrators is not civilised. He also explained that the Carabinieri (the army) would not have their Winchester rifles.

2. - Report on the Genoa Social Forum

The GSF decided not to acknowledge any yellow area. Actions will not be directed against people (even if they are wearing uniforms) or against material goods. This is a unanimous decision of the GSF.

We have also asked for demonstrators to be allowed to invest certain parts of the red area as a sign that we do not acknowledge this forbidden area.

The GSF recalled that it had asked for the summit to be cancelled, which was turned down as a result of the government's political decision. The GSF's political response is to confirm the three demonstrations on 19, 20 and 21 July and not to acknowledge the red area. We will not use violence, the sole limit being legitimate violence.

 3. -Proposal set forward by Attac Italy

Attac Italy will have had a meeting with all local committees on 7 July in order to decide on what actions will be planned on 20 July, the day set for direct actions. One suggestion is that on 16 July we set up a banner on one of the Genoa banks with the words 'Let's boycott the World Bank' (in Italian, of course). If it takes place this action will be backed by comrades of the Italian campaign on the World Bank.

The provisional council of Attac Italy suggests a number of 'disturbance' actions on the night of 19 July; they should take place in front of hotels were delegates, translators and other people needed at the G8 meeting will be trying to sleep.

On the day itself (20 July) we are planning a colourful and festive demonstration on the perimeter of the red area, with a virtual crossing into the forbidden area (ATTAC will fly). We are thinking about it. On 21 July, the day of the large demonstration that brings all protest movements together, groups will march in the following order:

- Workers directly involved in social conflicts (Mc Do, Lu...) - Third World Women - A four square with one representative from each organisation - 'Debt' Coalition - European Coalition country by country - Globalise resistance - Attac - Italian organisations

Within the Attac representation, we suggest the following order: first Attac Tunisia and Attac Brazil, then all the other Attac groups, with Attac Italy at the end.

Iantorno Fiorino Pietro

2- ATTAC will fly and some other news

By Laurent Jesover

We are approaching the starting date of the Genoa Social Forum (GSF), July 15, and already things are getting clearer. But first let's break the news: ATTAC has decided to fly.

ATTAC Italia suggested to all the other ATTACs that are coming from France, Switzerland and Germany, Spain, Belgium. even Russia (a full bus), to fly on the 20th, direct action day. Since they forbid us to be heard on the ground, to walk on the ground, to use our freedom of speech on the ground, we will take the air. Hot air balloons, little planes, soap bubbles, a G8 that will be inflated afterward because let's say it, they are full of... air, machineries of all types that is able to lift off the ground will be used. And since sound can fly also, at the speed of sound someone said, trumpets and drums, sirens and honks will be used also. Some surprises are already awaited, but let them be surprises for those of you that will be here. Normally (but not finally set yet) we will be Piazza Dante somewhere between heaven and hell.

After a marathon discussion that started yesterday and finished at seven this morning (another one started and midday) things are getting a lot better in the sense of showing our coordination and unity. On the 20th a common demonstration will start at 01:00pm at the convergence center down by the sea to go up to Brignole (the train station). There, common actions will occur, very visible and very noisy. Afterward every group will go to pre-determined places. The Tutte Bianche, the Cobas and other groups will go to the beginning of the Avenue XX settembre. ATTAC and other groups will go a bit south to thematic piazzas, each one of them being devoted to each group. Groups that will decorate the fences and die-in in front of checkpoints will surround the northwestern part of the Red zone. In the west there will be a worker demonstration called by unions.

The demonstration on the 21st will also finish by common actions in relation with what will happen on the 20th. As far as number of people few tens of thousand are awaited on the 20th and 100 000 or more on the 21st.

To help people arrive on time some initiatives will be organized at every border. But in France, on the highway just after Nice, a convergence center will start on the 18th in a resting area called Beausoleil. We are asking all the buses and the cars to stop by in order to receive information on the border status and on Genoa itself, and to be helped to cross the border. Our goal is to get everyone in. Italian groups in Imperia will help with lawyers since the border stop is in fact in Italian territory and therefore submitted to Italian law.

You can find photos and maps on the website the photos being in the information section and the maps, depending on the date, within the description of the events by dates.

Laurent Jesover. Editor
More about Genoa

3- Genoa - Unlawful debt or financial crime against human development.

By Arnaud Zacharie

The politico-financial history of the last thirty years reveals a worrying correlation between financial crime, indebtedness and poverty. In the four corners of the world, various agents have put in place a smoothly running system of decapitalisation resulting in State bankruptcies and as a consequence the failure of all public policy guaranteeing the wellbeing of their peoples. Faced with this scarcely encouraging situation, the question remains to be answered. Will the twenty-first century eventually see justice prevail over the institutionalised accumulating of fraudulent profits ?

A text-book case: the Argentine

Argentina is known for being one of the IMF 's (International Monetary Fund) favourite pupils. Since the '80s the country has rigorously applied the Washington experts' letters of intention. The programmes' objective is now well known; freeing the country from debt and structurally adjusting it to the global market, in order to break decisively with the "reactionary" policies of the past, responsible for the debt crisis at the beginning of the '80s

Following neoliberal theory, state power has accordingly been diluted, undertakings have been sold to foreign capital, economic frontiers opened up to international capital and the multinationals. Today while 90% of the banks and 40% of industry are in the hands of international capital, the country has been in serious recession since July 1988, its external debt has increased from 43 to 133 billion dollars between 1983 and 2000, health and education are in tatters, the average salary is worth half its 1974 value . The collapse is dramatic, both economically and socially. The reason is clear, though seldom mentioned; the IMF and successive Argentine governments have not answered the real problems but, have, on the contrary, applied measures exacerbating them.

Evidence now exists , resulting from a judicial enquiry over 18 years, following a legal process initiated back in 1982 by a journalist, Alejandro Olmos.; the Argentine debt crisis has its origin in wastage and fraudulent misuse of funds featuring the Argentine government, the IMF, private banks in the North and the American Federal Reserve. That is why the Argentine Federal Court has declared the debt contracted by the Videla regime"unlawful", as being contrary to the legislation and Constitution of the country. The court recommends Congress to employ this judgment to negotiate the cancellation of this execrable debt.

A smoothly running decapitalisation mechanism

In 1976 Videla's military junta took power and set up a dictatorship which lasted until 1983.During this period Argentine external debt was multiplied by five (increasing from 8 to 43 billion dollars) while the share of the GNP (gross national product) attributable to wages sank from 43% to 22%. The dictatorship was to lead to the debt crisis and the official entry of the IMF to take financial command of the country, with the results that are well known.

The verdict of the Argentine Tribunal ,195 pages long, traces the history of this condition of indebtedness from its origins. Agents of various types are featured; on the Argentine side, the principal roles are occupied by President Videla, Martinez de la Hoz, the Minister of the Economy sponsored by the Council of Business Heads, and Domingo Cavallo, Director of the Central Bank.

Next comes the IMF which since 1976 has been granting extensive credit to the Argentine providing Western banks with a guarantee that the country is in a favoured position for the recycling of their surplus petrodollars. But the IMF's role does not stop there, because all through the dictatorship, Dante Simone ,an IMF staff member, is to be found in the regime's service. The IMF excuse is that it had granted leave to M. Simone and that it was he he who put himself at the disposal of the country's Central Bank (p.27 of the judgment).The Bank was therfore paying the expert's board and lodging expenses. It remains to be discovered who paid his salary and if his leave was paid by the IMF.

However that may be, Dante Simone produced a written report addressed to Domingo Cavallo of the Argentine Central Bank (a copy to the IMF has been found) a report stating that as regards contracting further debts there were wide margins before any major economic danger would arise (p.31 of the judgment). M. Simone's role was clearly to seek extensive but discrete external financing.

Such external funds were in any case hardlyl difficult to find, so avid were the Western banks to tap into new markets, gorged as they were with petrodollars impossible to invest following the crisis in the rich countries of the North. The enquiry thus shows that the Argentine Central Bank was able to make discretionary investments with American banks, this without securing the agreement of the Minister of the Economy, but relying on the generous help of the American Federal Reserve!

The arrangement between these different lead players was such that the bank loans granted to Argentina were never to come under that country's control, but were to be directly diverted by the banks to tax havens in the name of front- companies. So the debt did not benefit the local people but rather the dictatorial regime and the banks of the North which provided important technical financial support for the passage.

The rest of the funds were squandered in lavish subsidies to large groups of Minister Martinez de la Hoz's personal friends.

In spite of this court judgment, the legislative power is making no move. It is continuing the country's liberalisation, pushed to extremes, as this was, during the '90s ,by the successive governments of Carlos Menem, who, along with four of his former ministers, is now being held in custody, for international arms trafficking during the first part of his mandate (between 1991 and 1995)!

Rather than employing the judgment to repudiate the unlawful debt which is keeping his people and his economy in an unsustainable position, President De la Rua has urgently recalled Domingo Cavallo to the head of the Ministry of the Economy, the very man who was governor of the Central Bank in the time of Videla and subsequently Carlos Menem's "Super-Minister" of the Economy during the nineties before getting himself swept away in the clean-up after the 1998 presidential elections faced with De la Rua!

A well established culture

While a judgment like this has the capacity to show up the unlawful character of the Argentinian debt, the fact that the enquiry lasted 18 years means that those responsible will remain immume, protected by prescription covering the facts. The removal of prescription from economic crimes is a major juridical objective of the new century But it is not the only one..

The mechanism brought to light in Argentina is unfortunately not an exception. Mobutu in Zaire, Suharto in Indonesia, Houphouet-Boigny in Ivory Coast, Moussa Traore in Mali, Marcos in the Philippines , Pinochet in Chile and others are well known examples of Chiefs of State at the head of a financial empire constructed with the aid of the banks by the twisted course of tax havens. All these countries are burdened today by unsustainable debt and have been in the neoliberal hands of the IMF for almost two decades. As for their peoples, most of them have lost even the will to go on hoping, to such an extent has an already well established culture been reinforced by the total opening up of economic frontiers and the abolition of controls.

One of the most striking examples of this is Russia which inside a decade has passed from the hope of democratic emancipation to institutionalised plundering.

The facts underlying neoliberal Russia

When the Soviet Union finally collapsed, the local peoples entertained an amazing hope of liberation and democratic freedom. Ten years later they have passed cruelly from bureaucratic rationing to a dramatic drop in their living standards. Once again a band of influential agents have united to ceaselessly pillage a state in course of disintegration.

The former Vice President of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, , summarises this transition, as follows: concerning the reforms applied in Russia;

 "Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, two schools of thought emerged concerning Russia's transition to a market economy. One of them stressed the importance of institutional infrastructures in a market economy and recommended a more gradual transition towards market economy. The second school of thought was composed of macro-economists whose faith in the market was absolute. These economists had no knowledge of history or of the details of the Russian economy nor did they believe that they needed any.The great strength, and the ultimate weakness of the economic doctrines relied on, lies in the fact that that they were - or were supposed to be - universal. This universal truth is that shock therapy works for all countries on their way to the market economy; the stronger the dose (and the more painful the reaction), the more quickly the change is effected. Such is their argument. Those who opposed this course were not consulted for long. By December 1993 Russia had experienced ' too many shocks and too little therapy'.And all these shocks had completely failed to bring Russia to a genuine market economy. The rapid privatisation imposed on Moscow by the IMF and the US Treasury had allowed a small group of oligarchs to take control of the country's assets. when the government began to run short of money for paying pensions, the oligarchs diverted important national resources to Swiss or Cypriot bank accounts. The United states were implicated in these obnoxious transactions. In mid-1998 Larry Summers replaced Robert Rubin in the post of US Finance Secretary, He appeared by the side of Anatoly Chubais, the chief architect of the Russian privatisations. In acting thus the United States appeared to be allying themselves with the forces responsible for the impoverishment of Russia. The US Treasury and the IMF continued to insist that the problem did not result from too much therapy but from too few shocks. But during the course of the '90s, the Russian economy continued to collapse. Whereas only 2% of the population were living in poverty at the end of the Soviet period, the 'reforms' saw the rate of poverty climb as far as 50%, with more than half of Russian children living beneath the poverty threshold. Today Russia is eaten away by enormous inequalities and the majority of Russians have lost faith in the market economy."

The fraudulent diversion of funds operated by the Russian oligarchs since 1993 are estimated at some 130 billion dollars! Meanwhile the country's external debt has risen from 60 to 155 billion dollars between 1990 and 1999, whereas the country's GNP in 1999 is only 59% of what it was in 1989. While the people have been plunged into dire poverty, a handful of oligarchs have accumulated a fortune, entirely tax free, with the complicity of the Yeltsin government, Russian and Western banks and tax havens.

One of the most striking examples is that of Menatep, during the Kremlin-gate scandal which erupted in August 1999. This Russian bank , now in liquidation, was, with the collaboration of the Bank of New York, to have diverted to tax havens, some 10 billion dollars, partly derived from IMF loans.

Late in 1997, Menatep opened an account with Cedel (now renamed Clearstream), the international clearance room offering the facility of opening unpublished accounts (read "Revelation", Denis Robert and Ernest Black,2000, Les Arenes). Alongside the Bank of New York are the Vice President,in charge of relations with Russia, and her husband, the former president of Menatep and representative of Russia on the IMF between 1992 and 1995. The agents are in play, with the complicity of the Yeltsin administration as back-up, so decapitalisation can be put into operation.

On December 31, Boris Yeltsin resigned in favour of Vladimir Putin. elected President three months later, after instigating an investigation for abuse of power against Procurator Skuratov who was holding an inquiry into the diversion of funds connected with the Yeltsin clan.

Convergent diagnoses

The globalisation of liberalised financial markets and the proliferation of tax havens have facilitated the means for decapitalising States worldwide.. Thousands of billions of dollars are thus diverted and laundered with total impunity, all at the expense of the men and women citizens of the world who have to suffer the onslaughts of budgetary austerity.To counter such a state of affairs is no easy matter and this for various reasons;

The complicity of the banks; - the diversion operations call for complicated technical financial resources which only the banks possess; front- companies; off-shore companies, changes of fiscal and legal identity, diversification of investments in complex financial products etc. Thus while corrupt elites build a fraudulent financial empire , they can only do it thanks to the logistic support of banks well remunerated for their services.

The speed of carrying out enquiries: - the period of sequestration being public and limited to a few months, justice is constrained to act with urgency which allows white collar criminals to respond when they are sufficiently organised. This was especially so in the case of Moussa Traore in Mali ,who at the beginning of the nineties was able to alert an ambassador accomplice in Geneva who armed with a power of attorney contacted the cantonal bank in Vaud.The latter was quick to transfer the funds to other safe places (read "Africa;Cancel the Debt to Liberate Development" edited by Arnaud Zacharie and Eric Toussaint, 2001,p.235)

The powerlessness of justice; - whereas only a few days are needed to divert funds along the crooked route to the tax havens, it takes an average of two and a half years for a judge to track down an operation. In view of this disparity it seems difficult for justice to respond effectively to this globalised mechanism for decapitalisation.

The virtual secrecy surrounding the information; - while it is easy for a banker to discover who is the titular owner of an account and with what front company or financial set-up etc., he is usually silent when an enquiry is under way. The reason for this is simple. Diverting funds is an extremely well remunerated operation for banks and very real competition has developed. Moreover, a bank cooperating with justice will see its fraudulent clients turning their backs on it to the benefit of more "understanding" banks.

The complexity of the procedures; - the fact that a procedure is traditionally long and complex (1st instance, 2nd instance, etc.) often enables financial criminals to be protected by prescription covering the facts

Roads to international financial justice ;

The establishment of international financial justice has become essential for States to exist.This involves juridico-economic changes at national and international levels. Some roads should be tried even though, given the current political situation , they may seem problematic.

The execrable and unlawful debt; it has been seen in the case of the Argentine that national enquiries can be made to determine the unlawfulness of a country's external debt. Under international law, a debt is unlawful when it has been contracted by a non-democratic regime, without benefit to the local population and with the collaboration of the creditors. Although the impact of such enquiries remains limited for the reasons explained above, they may well increase citizen awareness thus motivating the legislative powers to respond eventually..

The Convention of Rome (1998); when the Rome Convention has been ratified by enough States the international penal court will have a panel of judges (parquet) at its disposal and one State will be able to bring a case against another. Since March 1991, ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) has considered the diversion of public assets to be a violation of the Rights of Man. Also, it will be possible to prosecute decapitalisation as an international crime, even if such prosecutions can be brought only by States and give no right to civil law damages ( simply the criminal penalty)

Making clearance companies subject to international supervision; it was seen in the Menatep case that the use of unpublished accounts offered by an international clearance room such as Clearstream makes any diversionary operations even more opaque As was emphasised in' The Appeal for International Financial Justice' launched on 30 May 2001 by ATTAC in Belgium :

 "While the eruption of financial exchanges might lead one to believe there was chaos among the financial floods, in reality no trace of the circulation of capital sums, whether legal or not, has been allowed to go astray. All the operations are registered on micro-fiches or optic disks and kept in the heart of the clearance rooms and in the archives of Swift. Thus the movements of funds from banking and tax havens can easily be reconstituted a fact which offers the necessary instruments for the struggle against financial crime and the proliferation of tax havens. On the other hand, left without any real control, or controlled by the banks alone, these supranational bodies can become purveyers of corruption, financial frauds and laundering.. This is why we are asking the national political institutions to put Swift, Euroclear and Clearstream under the democratic control of a supervisory organisation".

The taxation of international financial transactions; - the imposition of a Tobin type tax, a recommendation common to numerous organisations, has advantages seldom mentioned . Such a tax would in fact entail the transparency and "traceability" of transactions thus faciltating their control by public authorities and by justice.

Finally, taking a more global view, economic rights must be defended in the same way as civil and political rights, especially through the (1966) Pact relating to economic, social and cultural rights. This requires firstly the adoption of a Protocol as requested in 1993 by the Vienna Conference and then the ability to try economic crimes as crimes against Humanity - by their nature not subject to prescription.

Arnaud Zacharie is a researcher at CADTM (Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt))

Translation: Prudence Dwyer
More about Genoa:

4- From July the 19th till the 21st, in Genoa, face to G-7, general mobilisation!

By ATTAC France

On July the 20th and the 21st the G-7, summit which gathers the seven greatest Economies of the world - United States, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada, joined by Russia for the political part of the discussions-, have a session in Genoa, on the Italian coast.

In reaction to this summit, gets ready what will be for sure the most important mobilisation ever organised against the " liberal globalisation ". In Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi, one of the world richest man, just formed its government and just announced a set of ultra-liberal measures which will favour the development of the precarious jobs, the organisers of the " social forum of Genoa " are expecting more than 100 000 demonstrators. In the other European countries mobilisation develops and more 10 000 demonstrators are ready to go.

The debt cancellation and the rejection of the liberal globalisation

There are many reasons for demonstrating against this summit. The heads of states and governments who will be in Genoa are, indeed, the first responsible for the implementation of the liberal measures which are generically named "Liberal globalisation" That is: open markets for goods and services, including to public services which are therefore weakened, flexible employment market, with a quick rise of job insecurity and social disparities; various supports for the transnational corporation, even when they wreck the environment and they monopolise the Third World resources, etc.

However, a campaign will be particularly visible, for it focuses on G-7 for more than three years on: that is the one of the coalitions which demand the cancellation of the of Third World countries debt. A debt they already paid several times and which hampers the economy of countries which are often the poorest in the world.

A counter-summit and several demonstrations

In Genoa, the actions will be numerous.

First, there is a counter-summit which, from 15th till 22sd of July will be the opportunity for discussing the consequences of the liberal globalisation in numerous countries and to exchange views on the militant realities and campaigns which develop all over the world.

The 19th, the first demonstrations will greet, in its way, the opening of G-7 emphasising on the foreigners' rights (refugees, migrant workers, etc.). The 20th, at the end of the afternoon, there will be the peaceful encirclement of the G-7, and on Saturday the 21st at 1 p.m. there will be the great demonstration which will be the paramount of the mobilisation.

ATTAC with numerous associations, the NGO and the syndicates

Many organisations will be in Genoa. In France, an unified action group was set up which gathered, in addition to ATTAC, several syndicates (FSU and Union syndicale "Solidaire"-),the network of the European protest marches against unemployment, associations as AC! or the APEIS, and numerous associations and movements of young people.

On the scene, ATTAC-France will march with ATTAC-Italy, which has just been created, and all the ATTAC which exist in Europe. This procession will be next to those of the coalitions for the cancellation of the debt of countries of the South, those of the numerous European and world delegations and especially the numerous associative, political and trade-union Italian forces which will be present.

Translation Nicolas Wolff, volunteer translator
More about Genoa:

5- Know your rigths

Know Your Rights: Print this and take it with you

To: Demonstrators planning to go to the Genoa G-8 Summit July 2001

Some people trying to go to the Nice Summit in December 2000 were blocked at the border, particularly between France and Italy and prevented from travelling.The Italian Government has notified that it will have reinforced security in place for the G8 Summit. This note is for those who want to go to Genoa: (a) what are your rights; (b) who to contact if you are blocked at the border; (c) who to contact if you are arrested at the border or in Italy. The imposition of border controls under Schengen does not affect your rights in Community law set out here.Do not be fooled.

If you are a citizen of a European Union State you have a right to move freely to Italy whenever you wish.This right comes from Article 18 EC Treaty, your rights as a citizen of the Union; and from Article 49 EC Treaty as a recipient of services in Italy.The authorities can only interfere with that right to move (ie stop you crossing the border) if they justify their actions in accordance with EC law (contained in Directive 64/221). If you are crossing an EU border into Italy know:

1. The border official has no right to ask you why you are travelling (decision of the European Court of Justice: Commission v Netherlands 1992);

2. The border official has no right to stop you travelling unless he/she can justify this on the basis of you being a threat to public policy, public security or public health (Directive 64/221);

3. The border official can only seek to stop you travelling on the basis of public policy of public security on the basis of your personal activities - the decision is illegal if it is based on general disorder grounds (article 3 Directive 64/221);

4. A private company, the national railway or other transporter must also respect your right of free movement;the railway company which blocks your train or the bus company refuses to carry you is carrying out an illegal act unless it can justify the action on the basis of the Directive;

5. The Italian authorities cannot expel you without giving you written notice of why you are being expelled and an opportunity to appeal against the decision (Articles 8 & 9 Directive 64/221).

Your remedies: if you are blocked at the border you need (free) legal advice quickly.The European Community Advisory Service, a non-governmental organisation based in Brussels has open a hotline for your to call to get immediate advice.It is linked with a group of non-governmental organisations in the Member States which will help you and provide advice and assistance free of charge. This hotline and links have been put in place to help you exercise your right to demonstrate. We will advise you on your rights, and where possible enter into contact with the authorities on your behalf and try to get you admitted to Italy or challenge your expulsion.If this is not possible, if we can, we will take up your case and seek compensation for your against the State for a breach of your rights.

What to do: telephone (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German): 00 32 2 548 0494 - the ECAS hotline where a lawyer will advise you (free) and immediately.There is more than one line. If you need more help and/or to start a court action we will refer you to a national association of lawyers who can help you free of charge.

Have ready: your name and nationality; a contact address or phone number; where are you; a short description of what has happened: ie where you started your journey, what the mode of transport is, who has blocked you; what you have been told by the official or company. If you cannot call, email on

What we will do: we will advise you immediately on what to do next, what your rights are, and the likelihood of a quick solution.We will get a national non-governmental organisation to contact you as soon as possible with help on national and EU remedies.

What languages:we have people ready to help you in: English, French, German and Italian.

This message is from an alliance of progressive lawyers associations across Europe who are working together to protect the right to demonstrate in Europe.

6- Another world is possible

By the ATTAC committee for European Institutions

At the European Parliament, for the world parliamentary network

So far about sixty Members of the European Parliament have committed themselves to set up an international parliamentary network. It was launched at Porto Alegre, at the end of the first parliamentary world forum last January and it is slowly taking shape.

You will find enclosed the list of those European MPs as well as a copy of the a letter to be sent to national MPs.

The ATTAC committee as well as any other association that feels concerned by the development of the world parliamentary network should contact their representatives and tell them about this initiative.

As indicated in the text, the following letter is essentially intended for members of national parliaments in Europe. But it can also be used for other parts of the world.

The Attac committee for European Institutions (Attac-EI) brings together European MPs and international civil servants.


Strasbourg 18 June 2001

Dear colleague,

As you may already know a forum of MPs was held within the World Social Forum that took place at Porto Alegre (Brazil) last January. Over 200 MPs and senators from all over the world were involved.It resulted in the adoption of a final Declaration, the text of which can be found in the same mail.

Participants in this forum insisted that an international network be set up through which MPs and senators could exchange their views and opinions and coordinate actions around a number of issues in international politics in relation with social and citizens' movements. You will find enclosed a list of European MPs who have already committed themselves to this innovative venture.

We would be delighted if you agreed to join the network and are ready to meet you if you need any further information. In this context we consider that it would be useful to organize regional poles of MPs- which means in our case a European pole. Work groups on specific issues could also be set up.

 In collaboration with our Latin American colleagues who organized the parliamentary forum at Porto Alegre, we established contacts with North America, Africa and Asia.Thus an international network could be ready by the end of 2001.Another (stronger and more inclusive) parliamentary forum could then be held during the next World Social Forum that is scheduled to take place again at Porto Alegre end of January 2002.

We would very much like to know how you stand, what suggestions you might have, what initiatives you'd wish to launch or on what issues you'd like to work.

 We look forward to reading you.

 Best regards,

Danielle Auroi, Proinisas De Rossa, Harlem Désir, Jean-Maurice Dehousse, Pernille Frahm, Alain Krivine, Paul Lannoye, Camilo Nogueira, Francis Wurtz, European MPs.

You can reply either by writing to one of the MPs mentioned int he list or by sending a message to the email address of the ATTAC committee for European Institutions:


On 27 June 2001 :

Members of the European Parliament: Sylviane Ainardi, Alekos Alavanos, Konstantinos Alyssandrakis, Danielle Auroi, Emmanouil Bakopoulos, Fausto Bertinotti, Yasmine Boujenah, André Brie, Harlem Désir, Guiseppe Di Lello, Marianne Eriksson, Ilda Figueiredo, Hélène Flautre, P ernille Frahm, Monica Frassoni, Laura Gonzalez Alvarez, Heidi Annelli, Hautala, Pierre Jonckheer, Salvador Jové, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Efstratios Korakas, Dimitri Koulourianos, Alain Krivine, Jean Lambert, Paul Lannoye, Alain Lipietz, Caroline Lucas, Nelly Maes, Helmuth Markov, Perdo Marset Campos, Erik Meijer, Joaquim Miranda, Hans Modrow, Luisa Morgantini, Mihail Papayannakis, Joannis Patakis, Alonso Puerta, Didier-Claude Rod, Camilo Nogueira Roman, Martine Roure, Herman Schmid, Elisabeth Schroedter, Inger Schörling, Esko Seppanen, Jonas Sjostedt, Bart Staes, Fodé Sylla, Claude Turmes, Feleknas Uca, Roseline Vachetta, Luigi Vinci, Francis Wurtz.

Translation: Christine Pagnoulle, volunteer translator

7- WTO Tidbits

by the Attac workshop on International Treaties

1) What India wants to be discussed at Doha and what it emphatically does not want

A representative of the Indian Trade Ministry has declared that what Indians want in Doha is not so much the launch of a new Round, but rather negotiations, with a time limit, on the Uruguay Round (UR) themes of agriculture and services, a review of the TRIPs, and discussion of aspects of the UR implementation, for instance, the special and individualized treatment granted to developing countries.For India, subjects dealing with the environment, labour and investments should in no case be included in WTO negotiations.The representative warned that including measures on investments and sanitary and phytosanitary measures would jeopardize the future of the WTO.

A negative approach, like setting up non-tariff obstacles to trade, or leaving a clumsy mechanism like the DSB to regulate things, also drew criticism.

He advised those people in India who were against India taking part in the multilateral WTO system to remember the high price China has had to pay to re-enter the organization, the social norms which the US has successfully imposedin its bilateral agreements with Jordan, Cambodia and Vietnam, and the EU concessions to the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences), linked to the obligation to conform to social norms.

2) What the EU wants, the US doesn't want

A Round restricted to the theme of market access, said P. Lamy recently, would not suffice as a bargaining counter to sell to public opinion the concessions made by the EU."It won't hold water", he said. "Lowering customs duties is a good thing, but for that we must come back with a balanced whole."To illustrate his meaning, he said, "For example, I can get acceptance for a drop in duties on agriculture if I come back with measures to protect local brand products." Furthermore, he regretted that the FTAA (which he called a "highly successful public relations operation") might lead to the development of norms which would at once exclude non-members, like the EU, and bind Latin American countries to these norms.

3) Berlusconi declares himself ready to "welcome" demonstrators at the Genoa G8 meeting  in July

Like the other Heads of State, Mr Berlusconi was alarmed by the violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police in Göteborg. Fearing that similar clashes, or worse, might happen again, he reviewed security measures with his Minister of the Interior.

Since what particularly worried him was the fact that his government might be accused of even the slightest touch of violence at Genoa, he chose to take the offensive by declaring that if there were problems it would be the "responsibility of the previous governments".

The choice of Genoa as venue for the meeting goes back to 1999, under the Alema government.But when the vote came up in Parliament last year, Berlusconi's centre-right opposition joined the "yes" votes for the meeting in Genoa.

Althoug Berlusconi wants to engage in dialogue with the demonstrators, he doesn't appear to have the means to soften things up.Even in Parliament, misgivings are noted.Italian communists look on the summit as the meeting of an elitist club undermining the work of the UN General Assembly.

4) When Monsanto's Roundup successfully destroys ... the Andean Indians' fields

Senator Wellstone of Minnesota (Dem.) is a bitter critic of US military aid to Columbia.In an attempt to convince him that the aerial spraying would only touch fields of coca, without harming subsistence crops, the US Embassy in Bogota wanted to give him a demonstration.Target precision was to be ensured by satellite images.Unfortunately, it didn't turn out quite like that."At the very start of spraying, the Senator, the US Ambassador and the Lt-Colonel of the National Columbian Police, were totally deluged - "sauced", in fact - by Round-Up, with possible danger to their health."

"Imagine what happens when a high-level Congress delegation is not present."

The US has spread tons of Round-Up and Round-Up Ultra, produced by Monsanto, during 24 years of the war on drugs in Columbia.Monsanto also produced Agent Orange, the defoliant used in the Vietnam war.