In the heart of Neukölln-Berlin, in B-Lage, DiEM25 Berlin presented the film „Who is Saving Whom? – The crisis as business model at the expense of democracy and social security“.
Although the screening room was crowded and stuffed with 80 visitors, the mostly young audience attentively watched the documentary until the end. The 2015 documentary clearly shows who is responsible for the financial crisis of 2008 and how multi-billion rescue packages almost magically converted bank debts into public debt. The consequences for civil society are massive and these are presented through impressive pictures and testimonies in the film.
The film also suggests alternatives. Iceland choose a completely different way out of the crisis: the citizens took their fate into their own hands, demanded new elections and a thorough revision of the banking crisis – with success. There was no rescue of international capital, but a democratic redistribution from the top-to-bottom. Even the bank executives did not get away with it.
At the event, the film was follwoed by Ragnar Hjalmarsson providing more nuanced information on the Icelandic case, drawing on his experience as employee of the IMF Resident Representative Office in Reykjavik from 2008 to 2013. Spanish/Icelandic artist couple Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson contributed further to an intriguing discussion.
During the discussion, it became clear that very special circumstances contributed to Iceland’s unique path. Nevertheless, Iceland remains an encouraging example of how a broad social movement could free a country from the dictatorship of the financial sector and help it move towards real democracy.
In the film, the German politician Oskar Lafontaine is quoted as follows: „If one knows that debt is the money of the rich, then one would have to get the idea that if I want to lower the debt, I will reduce rich people’s money. I’ve never heard that this may have been discussed in that way in parliaments. Instead of taking money from the rich, they dive into the wallet of the pensioners and the workers who earn very little. This is an incredible fact.„
DiEM25 is working right now on a policy paper for Europe’s new economy, which will be presented end of February in Paris.
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