The European Union Court rules in favour of the ECB – and against transparency and democracy in Europe
Tue 03, 2019, Articles
The European Court’s ruling against our case comes as a disappointment. That its decision intends to protect the ECB’s “space to think” only adds insult to injury.
In 2015, the European Central Bank (ECB) forced Greece’s banks to close as part of the Troika’s attempt to intimidate the newly-elected Greek government into abandoning what it had been voted in to do: renegotiate the country’s public debt, fiscal policy and reform agenda.
Following the closure of the banks, capital controls were imposed on Greece. These are still in place, with widespread social and economic costs for its already-ailing economy.
When we learned that the ECB commissioned a legal opinion on the legality of those actions, we immediately asked the ECB to disclose that opinion, but the ECB refused.
Thus, DiEM25 co-founder and Greece’s finance minister at the time, Yanis Varoufakis, and MEP Fabio de Masi (GUE/NGL), supported by a broad alliance of politicians and academics, filed a mass freedom of information request to the ECB to get this opinion. Again, the ECB got off the hook.
Clearly, #TheGreekFiles contain something the ECB doesn’t want you to see.
So we took them to court.
Today’s ruling, in which the judges claim that “the ECB could legitimately take into account the hypothetical effects that the disclosure of the contested document could have on its space to think in 2015 and also after 2015,” is yet another blow to our ailing democracy, as it reaffirms the Establishment-controlled institutions to make powerful decisions behind closed doors by unelected officials. Decisions that affect millions of people.
And the least Europeans can expect is access to legal opinions that they have paid for regarding the exercise of the ECB’s power.
We will most certainly appeal the court’s shameless decision. This battle to uphold our values is not over.
For a detailed account of the ECB’s actions in this case, and how it likely acted outside of its mandate, visit our see our #TheGreekFiles campaign.
Ultimately, this is exactly why we need a transnational set of progressive MEPs elected next May. The EU establishment is too busy protecting itself and its TINA (There Is No Alternative) narrative, showcasing that they are more interested in protecting themselves than they are in doing their jobs and upholding our values, repairing our Union, democratising and bringing transparency to our institutions and properly establishing a system of checks and balances.
Join us as we continue the fight to repair and democratise our Union with European Spring, the first-ever transnational electoral effort to bring a progressive, pan-European programme to ballots everywhere.
Luis Martin, DiEM25 Communications Coordinator
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