• European intellectuals facing the Italian referendum
  • Global Call for Democracy

  • 14 Nov 16 Posted under: Italien
  • On 4 December the constitutional referendum in Italy will be held. We regard this as a decisive moment not only in the history of the Italian republic but also for Europe. The changes submitted to the referendum aim at abolishing many of the democratic achievements laid down in Italy’s post-war constitution in order to transform the state into a ‘market-compatible’ post-democracy.

    transform! italia together with the overwhelming  majority of the Italian Left is campaigning for a NO in the referendum. In order to withstand the political pressure exercised from abroad on the Italian voters they ask for international support.


    For democracy*

    We watch the Italian vote on the constitutional referendum carefully and with respect; we think it should be up to the Italian people to decide on their constitution. And we are indeed impressed by the amount of pressure people are being placed under to adapt the dominant thought.

    JP Morgan has clearly stated that the constitutions of European countries are, in its view, incompatible with the needs of globalized financial capitalism. A similar thought was expressed by the president of the ECB. Particularly they are the Mediterranean countries of the south Europe to be under attack. With regard to the Italian referendum, we are currently seeing a wave of international proclamations in support of the “reforms” sought by Prime Minister Renzi: from the USA, as well as from Merkel, and from the European Socialists. All these actors emphasize the needs of stability in order to encourage competitiveness and investment, “drawn” by economic and social measures in favor of business and finance to make work flexible, together with people’s rights and “sure” the political decision-making.

    Furthermore, issues that the Italian Government brings forward as official support for its proposals are delivered in a very different language from what we have seen used in the election campaign. They are also made with grand populist tones. In fact, the heart of the proposed reform is the strengthening of executive power, humiliation of local institutions and an injury to the right of citizens to elect their representatives. We know that over all these years an absolute predominance of finance, markets and companies has been created that has broken the old progressive compromises. It was imposed quickly and has forced people to make very painful choices whilst being completely ineffective.

    We have already seen European constitutions, which establish rights and democratic procedures, be violated; now they would be torn up. And we watch as Europe is being turned into a place increasingly devoid of real democracy. The same is happening on the global stage too, where trade and military wars ensue. Instead of promoting constitutions, they want to impose TTIP and CETA.

    Therefore, we believe that the battle for democracy is a great battle that affects all of us as a whole. It will be up to the Italian people to make their voices heard. And if we were Italian, we would vote NO, and we would do it with conviction.


    List of Signatures:

    Elmar Altvater, economista, filosofo, sociologo, Berlino, Germania

    Athena Athanasiou, Panteion University, Grecia

    Dario Azzellini, sociologo, Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, Austria

    Walter Baier, transform! europe, Austria

    Etienne Balibar, Filosofo, Francia

    Joanna Bourke, Professore di Storia alla Birkbeck University of London, UK

    Ulrich Brand, Professore Università di Vienna, Austria

    Lutz Brangsch, Fondazione Rosa Luxemburg, Germania

    Michael Brie, Fondazione Rosa Luxemburg, Germania

    Wendy Brown, Professore di scienze Politiche, University of California, Berkeley, USA

    Mario Candeias, Instituto di Analisi Sociale, Berlino, Germania

    Gaël De Santis, capo del servizio Esteri del quotidiano L'Humanité, Francia

    Judith Dellheim, ricercatrice, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Berlin, Germania

    Chantal Delmas, Espaces Marx, Francia

    Frank Deppe, Professore emerito, Germania

    Costas Douzinas, Direttore dell’Institute for the Humanities Birkbeck College University of London, UK

    Tamara Ehs, Scienze Politiche, Salzburg, Austria

    Marga Ferre, Fundacion por l’Europa de los Ciudadanos, Spagna

    Lukas Franke, Autore e drammaturgo, Berlino, Germania

    Corinna Genschel, Comitato per I Diritti e la Democrazia, Germania

    Haris Golemis, Direttore Nicos Poulantzas Institute, transform! europe, Grecia 

    Adoracion Guaman, Professoressa, Spagna

    Laura Horn, Roskilde University, Danimarca

    Srećko Horvat, Filosofo, DiEM25, Croazia

    Bob Jessop, Accademico Britannico, UK

    Jürgen Klute, Pastore Luterano, Germania

    Tom Kucharz, Attivista social-ecologista e ricercatore, membro di Ecologistas en Acción, Spagna

    Yann Le Lann, presidente Espaces Marx, Francia

    Hugo Monteiro, fondazione Cultra, Portogallo

    Javier Navascués Fernández-Victorio, Università di Siviglia, Spagna

    Lukas Oberndorfer, Ricercatore, Vienna, Austria

    Leo Panitch, Professore emerito alla York University, Toronto, Canada

    Dani Platsch, Partei „Der Wandel“, Austria

    Martin Schirdewan, Fondazione Rosa Luxemburg, Bruxelles, Belgio

    Max Shanly, Young Labour, Londra, UK

    Michèle Sibony, portavoce de l’Unione Ebraica Francese per la Pace, Francia

    Michalis Spourdalakis, Decano di Economia e Politica, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Grecia 

    Yanis Varoufakis, Economista DiEM 25, Grecia

    * Appeal launched by transform! italia and published in “Il Manifesto” on 12 November 2016 with the title: “Appello globale per la democrazia, l’adesione si allarga”

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