On International Women’s Day, the women of the Anglo: Not Our Debt Campaign have called for the Anglo debt payment of € 3.1 billion due to be made on March 31st to be stopped. The women of the group – encompassing a unique coalition of representatives from the community, faith-based, global justice, environmental, trade union and academic sectors – argue that the debts of the state-owned institutions, Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society, are not the responsibility of women in Ireland, yet women are being hardest hit by its impacts.
Cathleen O’ Neill, community worker from the Kilbarack said, “The Anglo promissory note is utterly devastating to women. We are being forced to cope with the harsh reality of this unjust debt, yet we are not responsible for this crisis, The women in my community in Kilbarack and beyond, are losing access to vital community projects in our lives, health and education services, and services to elderly and disabled women.”
The “promissory note”, or promise, by the Irish government to repay Anglo debt of € 30.6 billion to the Irish Central Bank over the next 20 years, will amount to € 85 billion once interest on the payment is included. The women stress that if a reduction in the debt of real value is to be achieved, the principal of € 30. 6 billion must be written down in full.
Vicky Donnelly from the campaign said, “The European Central Bank – the governing council of which is made up of 23 unelected men – are insisting that Ireland makes this massive, unjust payment. The Irish government must find the courage and political will to suspend the payment, then Ireland’s negotiating power with the ECB will be much stronger. We don’t want to pay this debt and we should not have to.”
The Anglo: Not Our Debt women have issued a call to action to women in Ireland and across Europe to pressure their TDs and European Parlaiment MEPs to support a suspension of the Anglo promissory note payment on March 31st with a view to negotiating a full write down of the debt with the European Central Bank.
Nessa Ní Chasaide from the campaign continued, “Women around the world have been forced to cope with the impacts of unjust debts for too long. The Anglo promissory note commitment of € 30.6 billion equates to removing almost half a trillion euro from the German economy. It an illegitimate, immoral and unsustainable debt.”
The women of the Anglo: Not our Debt campaign highlight that there is only a few weeks to stop the payment and call on women and men to sign their petition.