The ECB asked for 20,000 euros from us in legal fees because we dared to demand information that should be available to anyone. Help us fight back against this intimidation – and release #TheGreekFiles they are so intent on hiding
In the summer of 2015, the European Central Bank (ECB) shut down Greece’s banks as part of their efforts to intimidate the government into submission. This measure was so authoritarian and unprecedented that the ECB secretly commissioned an opinion from a private law firm in Brussels – using taxpayers’ money – to find out if they were allowed to do it.
Unfortunately for them, a whistleblower from inside the institution alerted us to this.
In 2017, our co-founder Yanis Varoufakis submitted a freedom-of-information request in the name of DiEM25 to see that legal opinion, together with then-MEP Fabio de Masi. After all, if that opinion said that it was legal for the ECB to shut down Greece’s banks, why not share it? And if it said that it was not legal, why did they shut them?
While they confessed the existence of that legal opinion, they refused to make it public on “confidentiality” grounds, and Fabio and Yanis took them to the European courts in response. At the same time, DiEM25 launched our campaign “Release #TheGreekFiles!”. In the end, we lost the court case, as the EU judges unsurprisingly backed the ECB’s ridiculous argument.
We were informed that the ECB asked for 20,000 euros in legal fees from DiEM25’s membership, and Fabio, for having dared to try to force them to show the legal opinion they bought using taxpayers’ money – something that every European should have free access to.
Yes, the same ECB that prints trillions of euros at the stroke of a button to hand over to oligarchs and cover up the bankruptcy of member-states wants to squeeze us financially. Not because they care about the money, but to send a message: ‘See what happens if you try to expose what we do behind the scenes.’
We should send them a message of our own: ‘See what happens when you try to stop Europeans from doing what is their right.’
So, how can you help? By taking a couple of simple actions.
First, we are renewing our call for the ECB to release #TheGreekFiles. Sign and share our petition now to let the ECB know that you, too, would like to see what they bought with your money, but seem so intent on hiding from you.
And second, we ask you to show solidarity in helping DiEM25 cover the costs of the ECB’s intimidation. They are hoping to win by ruining our movement financially. But if 1,000 people receiving this message donate an amount as small as 15 euros, we’ll not only be able to deny their intimidation, but also help fund our efforts to make sure that no European institution will dare use these dirty tactics again.
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