We, the members of non-governmental and community-based organisations from different parts of the world, gathered in Prague and signing this statement, note the unprecedented early suspension of the 2000 annual general meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Given the number of scheduled sessions, including meetings with non-governmental organisations, that will evidently be cancelled, the claim that they have simply finished their business rings hollow.
“The dominant component is a generation of youth - a new mobilisation. These youth live in a world which does not convince them. They want a world where the environment is respected, where North-South relations are egalitarian and where the institutions are democratic. It is for this reason that they contest the IMF or the World Bank.”
The big demonstration in Seattle in late November/early December marked a turning point in the social situation. Capitalist neo-liberal globalisation appeared irresistible until this demonstration which set up the bases of a new internationalism.
The crisis of public debt in the countries of the Third World and the East as well as in the industrialised countries has, from the 1980s onwards, been used to systematically impose austerity policies in the name of adjustment.
Hundreds of jubilant young left wingers gathered in front of Christiansborg on the eve of September 28 to celebrate the ’no’ victory in Denmark’s referendum on entry to the Euro. Meanwhile, behind the walls of Parliament, there were tears and bitter comments from the establishment politicians.
Social welfare was justifiably a central issue in the Euro debate. By voting NO we defended - temporarily - a certain "freedom of manoeuvre", which theoretically can be used to defend and improve social provisions. The bad news is that this has not shaken the government, whose loyalty to "economic competitiveness" and EMU criteria, not only prevents the use of this flexibility but also undermines welfare.