Labour MP Diane Abbott has been widely mocked on social media for tweeting her support for an “emergency letter of solidarity” calling for Greece’s debt to be cancelled.
Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newingon (who is also hoping to run as the Labour candidate as Mayor of London) took to Twitter last night to declare: “I have signed an emergency letter of solidarity with the Greek people calling for debt cancellation #CancelGreekDebt”
Her tweet was immediately lampooned by other Twitter users:
— Eccles (@BruvverEccles) June 28, 2015
Many others called on her to sign similar letters writing off their debt:
— Owldom (@owldom) June 28, 2015
@HackneyAbbott and cancel Irish, Spanish and Portuguese debt too? You have no grip on financial reality.
— Jeremy Tilford (@TPBarn) June 28, 2015
Yet more tried to point out the practical realities of writing off debt, asking Ms Abbott who she thought would end up paying the debt, if not the Greek people.
With no answer to these practical questions, Ms Abbott immediately took to blocking her fellow Twitter users, prompting some to share it further:
And others to rejoice at having been blocked:
— Peter Palladas (@PeterPalladas) June 29, 2015
The letter has been published in the Guardian, and reads in full:
We call on David Cameron to support the organisation of a European conference to agree debt cancellation for Greece and other countries that need it, informed by debt audits and funded by recovering money from the banks and financial speculators who were the real beneficiaries of bailouts. We believe there must be an end to the enforcing of austerity policies that are causing injustice and poverty in Europe and across the world. We urge the creation of UN rules to deal with government debt crises promptly, fairly and with respect for human rights, and to signal to the banks and financiers that we won’t keep bailing them out for reckless lending.
It has been signed by a number of union leaders and Members of Parliament, including the Green MP Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn, a candidate for the Labour leadership.
Meanwhile in the real world the Euro is currently on a rollercoaster ride in the financial markets following a weekend of turbulence in Greece. The currency was slammed on the Asian markets last night, dropping 1.5 percent, it was also down 2.5 percent on the Japanese Yen; today may bring it a similar fate on the American and European markets.
In Greece itself, people queued round the block to withdraw cash from the 40 percent of ATM machines that were still dispensing notes, as the government announced that banks would not be opening this week; it also imposed capital controls. The country will hold a referendum on July 5th to decide whether or not to accept a bailout offer which includes tight austerity measures.
Yesterday President Obama telephoned the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the crisis. The White House has reported that the two leaders “agreed that it was critically important to make every effort to return to a path that will allow Greece to resume reforms and growth within the eurozone.”
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