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THE NATIONAL

CURRENCY
STARTING POINT FOR A SOVEREIGN
AND DEMOCRATIC GREECE, WITH
DEVELOPMENT AND JUSTICE,
WITHOUT MEMORANDUMS,
OR AUSTERITY
T
he leading European and international establishment
centers, and even more so the Greek political and
economic establishment, practice brainwashing and
terrorize the Greek people, presenting the option of abandoning
the euro and the transition from Greece to the national
currency as a disaster.
Through this booklet Popular Unity (Laïki Enotita - La.E)
attempts, in a concise and accessible way, to propose and
discuss the steps and measures for Greece’s transition towards
a new national currency, on the basis of a radical program. We
are trying to make clear that the transition from the euro to the
new national currency, as part of a radical program, is a realistic
and viable option, the only one likely to get the country out of
the crisis, the memoranda and the austerity and put it on the
path of growth and productive transformation with social justice.
In order to lead the country towards the instituting of a new
national currency, the following steps are necessary and they
must be immediately implemented.
FIRST
The Bank of Greece will become public property, will come under
national and social control, will fully acquire the monopoly of
issuance of the national currency and its policy will be drawn within
the framework defined by the government and its policy.
SECOND
The country will regain its monetary sovereignty, which is
the foundation of national sovereignty and a major step
towards full sovereignty. The government will exercise,
sovereignly and under the control of society, the new
national monetary policy of the country in all its aspects,
taking into account the opinion of the Bank of Greece.
THIRD
Enhanced institutional safeguards will be put in place to ensure
that the country's monetary policy will be driven above all by
criteria of development, social justice and employment expansion,
aiming full employment in perspective.
FORTH
The government, after consulting the Bank of Greece, will
determine the rate of conversion of the euro into the new national
currency. Whatever the exchange rate would in itself be, it will
not affect the functioning of the economy. But, for practical
reasons and for the sole purpose of meeting current necessities,
we will set the rate of conversion of the new currency to one euro
for one unit of the new currency.

FIFTH
By the promulgation of a law, the euro will be withdrawn
and the new national currency will be put into circulation.
All national financial transactions will be carried out in this
new national currency.

or
THE ECONOMY AT THE RHYTHM OF THE NEW
NATIONAL CURRENCY
Under these schemes and on the basis of the official exchange rate of the
new national currency to the euro:
● Euros held by citizens and legal entities will be converted by banks into
national currency.
● All bank deposits will be converted into the new national currency,
while euros held by banks (in coins and banknotes) will be stored at the
Central Bank (Bank of Greece) to consolidate the country's foreign
exchange reserves. The State with a strengthened legal system will
fully guarantee all bank deposits and take measures for their security
and optimal performance.
● All salaries and pensions, from the moment of introduction of the
national currency, will be paid in the new currency on the basis of the
official exchange rate (for example, an employee receiving a net salary
of 800 euros, will receive 800 new national currency units, a pensioner
receiving a pension of 800 euros, will receive a pension of 800 new
national currency units).
● Debts of all kinds, to banks in particular, as well as amounts owed by
citizens and legal persons to the public sector and all public sector
companies, in the narrow or extended sense, will be converted into the
new national currency, on the basis of the initial loan agreement and
without charge. A citizen, for example, who owes 1,000 euros to a
bank, will owe 1,000 units of the new national currency, while the
validity of the original loan agreement will be maintained. Our policy
will, however be to legislate in a second step, as explained below,
measures for a bold renegotiation of private debts as well as the
annulment (σεισάχθεια - seisactheia) of a large part of them.
● Trade prices will be converted into national currency and will be over a
period of time dually displayed, while strict controls will be conducted
to severely sanction illegal transactions and speculation.

Within such a framework, with the new national


currency, the economy will gradually enter, into a new
operating cycle that will allow the implementation
of a radical new policy of reconstruction and
transformation of the economy.
WHY IS NATIONAL CURRENCY NECESSARY?
The introduction of the national currency is pertinent and even extremely
necessary because:
● Greece, locked up in the Eurozone prison and the EU's “single market”
framework not only cannot bear the consequences and remain
economically and socially upright, but is constantly losing ground to
more powerful and more “competitive” economies, especially that of
Germany.
● The neo-liberal monetarist structure and the philosophy prevailing in
the Eurozone do not favor convergence between unequal economies
involved in the euro area, with different levels of productivity and
yield. On the contrary, it reinforces inequalities and divergences, and
de facto makes antagonism more violent.
● The national currency, given the prevailing conditions in the euro area,
would become an absolutely indispensable and irreplaceable tool for
our country. It would become indispensable and irreplaceable for a
very important additional reason. It is because in Greece the people
and working classes are stifled by an illegal, odious, illegitimate and
above all unsustainable debt, in the name of which the Greek State
makes requests for credits to the EU and the IMF, spent exclusively on
the debt service, accompanied by failed austerity programs that
ruthlessly afflict the people and ruin the country.
● The introduction of the national currency will help the Greek economy
to escape from the unfair and devastating competition taking place in
the Eurozone, leaving no possibility to deal with it at the level of the
internal market, except by slashing social spending and volatilizing
working-class income, wages and pensions.
● But still, the most important and topical is that the introduction of the
national currency is a sine qua non for the country to remain on its feet,
without loans from the EU and the IMF, without the need of liquid assets
grants from the ECB to domestic banks, proven to be deadly tools of
coercion and blackmail by the creditors, as this occurred first in Cyprus,
then in Greece in July 2015, when the ECB shut down liquidity taps to
banking systems.
Consequently, the national currency, by offering Greece a realistic
opportunity to free itself from loans from the EU, the ECB and the IMF,
will allow us a step forward, essential for the survival of the country
though impossible within the frame of the Eurozone: the choice of
decisively rejecting the memoranda and canceling public debt by
resorting to an irrevocable cessation of its repayment, without taking
the risk of collapse of the Greek banks and economy due to the
creditors blackmail and maneuvering.
On the contrary, the choice of abandoning and canceling the
memoranda, the disallowance of the public debt and the return to the
national currency, will allow the economy and the banks to recover for
the benefit of the country and the people.
At the same time, the national currency, a necessary condition for
the annulment of Greece’s public debt, will make possible to
recapitalize the banks by the State Treasury, both to help them
assume their new role without resorting to liquidity
from the ECB, and chiefly to carry out a decisive
policy that will radically treat, for the benefit of
borrowers, the burden of unsustainable private debts,
which suffocates our economy.
Greek banks will thus avoid the
predation of private capital and
hedge funds and will become
public property, as the funds
paid by the State for their
recapitalization will be
converted into shares and their
share capital will be increased.
Thus, after being nationalized,
they will be placed under social
control in order to implement a
totally different financial policy,
based exclusively on criteria of
development, production,
investment and social
development.
On this basis and as part of
the new national monetary
policy, banks will be able to
proceed, on the basis of
rigorously controlled criteria, to a large-scale debt cancellation
(σεισάχθεια - seisactheia) for the benefit of the humblest households
and the very small businesses. They will also boldly renegotiate the
loans of small and medium enterprises, after thorough controls of their
management and managers. At the same time, cancellations or
reductions of the debts of some large companies, essential for the
maintenance of jobs, will be accompanied by the proportionate
participation of nationalized banks in their share capital in exchange for
the annulment or reduction of their debts.
Without national currency, all attempts to reduce the country's debt
and to get free from memoranda and tutelage, austerity and
submission, have no hope to succeed and any such promises are pure
deception and demagoguery.
WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE THROUGH NATIONAL
CURRENCY
For Popular Unity (Laïki Enotita - La.E), the national currency is neither
an end in itself, nor a fetish. It is not a question of just introducing a new
national currency to pursue in another form the same neoliberal policies,
to serve the same oligarchic capitalist interests, the same relations of
guilty collusion, the same patronage logic, the same parasitic circuits, the
same practices of bribes and corruption.
On the contrary, for us the national currency is a tool, a starting point, a
challenge and an opportunity to relegate to the past all aspects of
neoliberal austerity, alongside the implementation of our global program
for transition and its multiple interdependent aspects. To relegate to the
past the yoke of the memoranda, the patronage of the Eurozone and an
unsustainable debt. To abolish austerity, fight against poverty and
unemployment, ensure that the social needs in matter of health,
education, culture are universally provided by the public service.
We want to stop the selling-off of the country, in order to nationalize the
strategic enterprises and to implement a productive transformation of the
Greek economy, while such projects are prohibited within the Eurozone
and the neoliberal European Union.
WE WILL SUPPORT THE ECONOMY, PRODUCTION, SOCIETY
FIRST: With the national currency, we will be able to strengthen the
national production base and the competitiveness of the Greek economy,
by responding to the need for a liquidity wave for the economy and for
society under favorable conditions.
By introducing the new national currency, it will become possible to make
use of the Bank of Greece's ability to provide an adequate amount of
liquidity to the economy and society, under favorable conditions and at
very low rates interest, a nonexistent option within the frame of the euro.
We want to steer this liquidity wave towards the real economy, for
investments in production, and towards society in order to fight poverty,
support social needs and social sectors in crisis.
In particular, the national monopoly of monetary issuance and the
national control of the monetary policy will be used to finance through
the Bank of Greece and the nationalized banks a vast program of
investments in the country, both in the framework of public investments
and of support to the SMEs.
We call for a very important, diversified, quality-oriented, low-interest
financing program for government-planned development, under
democratic and social control.
The objective of this funding program will be to double public investment,
planned on a new basis in the perspective of increased productivity.
It will be oriented towards supporting the peasantry and upgrading of
primary production, towards investments in SMEs, aiming at the
productive and technological upgrading of the country, the increase of
employment, the support and expansion of the working class social
conquests.
In such a context, special efforts will be devoted to rebuilding publicly controlled
enterprises, supporting cooperative enterprises, and also enterprises whose
characteristics of innovation, technological progress and modern organization
would benefit to democratic development planning and the productive
transformation of the economy.
The national monopoly of monetary
issuance and the national control of
monetary policy will, at the same
time, be fully exploited to support
and strengthen social Greece and
the social budget. The national
currency and the new expansionary
monetary policy will be used to
recapitalize the social insurance
funds, to support and increase
wages and pensions, first the
minimum wage and the minimum
pension. They will be used for to
socially support the weak and
disabled, to fight poverty and
increase social spending.
The State budget of Greece with a national currency, freed from the straitjacket
of fiscal austerity, freed from the obligation of excessive primary surpluses and
restrictive requirements of the Stability Pact, acquiring the possibility of monetary
refinancing of deficits under favorable and preferential conditions, will be able
through a major administrative reform of the State and of by applying our
programmatic proposal as a whole, to become the big central lever for the
transformation of the productive apparatus, the efficient remodeling of the
economy, and for social justice.

A NATIONAL CURRENCY FOR A NEW SUSTAINABLE


AND SOCIALLY FAIR ECONOMIC MODEL

SECOND: Based on the new national currency, we will apply a flexible


exchange rate policy that takes into account national economic data, in
particular balance of payments developments, as well as European and
international developments.
This national exchange rate policy must not be under the influence of
dogmatism or prefabricated schemes. It needs to be conceived and
developed through broad and authentic social dialogue, and charted
under the sole criterion of the country's development, the increase in the
number of jobs, with full employment in prospect, the promotion of a
new economic model, sustainable and socially just.
The establishment's ruling centers are spreading alarmist statements
about a probable devaluation of the national currency, pointing to
potential devastating effects, even anticipating that this devaluation
will grow to uncontrollable proportions, resulting as they claim, in
shortages of raw materials, essential food products, medicines, etc.
These alarmist scenarios are totally unfounded, with no support in
reality.

If this would have been deemed necessary, in the interest of the Greek economy
and people, a limited and chosen devaluation of the currency could be an option
to be chosen for a given moment.
Such a devaluation would be aimed at leveraging the country's economy, to
stimulate domestic production and economy, particularly in targeted sectors and
under monitoring of the achievement of measurable objectives, to implement
comprehensive economic development planning. Such an option doesn’t exist
within the euro.

Eventually, some devaluation, in an economy such as that of present-day Greece,


which, under the yoke of the memoranda, has for many years been in recession
and stagnation, with high unemployment and a productive potential under-
exploited or inactive, though likely to be mobilized, would produce a globally
positive economic and social outcome if implemented at the appropriate moment.

A limited and reasonable devaluation, to the extent that it would


considered appropriate, would be a positive and non-defensive option,
aimed at boosting and strengthening the country's development plan.
Such a devaluation would result in a substantial decrease in the prices of
domestic products in comparison to imported products and thus contribute
to the stimulation of domestic production, the substitution of imports by
domestic production, the increase in exports and tourism, consequently
significantly boosting employment, thereby supporting the planned effort
to bring the country back onto a new development path under a new
model.
A limited and reasonable devaluation, in the context of an economy in
recession for years, will have minor effects on inflation, and no negative
impact on wages and pensions, especially because measures would have
been taken to prevent that. Wages and pensions would in any case be
increased by the application of the new anti-austerity policies, supported
by the new national currency.

A devaluation with such characteristics will not cause, as some pretend, a


massive and harmful importation of speculative capital into the country,
particularly since, along with the introduction of the national currency,
effective control would be put in place on capital movements from
abroad to the country and vice versa, in order to prevent speculation
detrimental to the currency and the national economy.

This control will have nothing to do with the restrictions applied from June
2015 on banking transactions (“Capitals’ Control”) and withdrawal of
liquidities from banks. On the contrary, after the introduction of the
national currency, transactions with the banks, opening of accounts and
withdrawals will be completely free and will not be subject to any
restrictions.

The propaganda of the Eurosmug, according which the introduction of the


national currency would be followed by an uncontrolled devaluation and,
worse still, shortages of raw materials, medicines, fuels, food products,
etc., is devoid of any real foundation. The allegation often heard that
Greece could not switch to national currency because supposedly it would
produce nothing, is arbitrary and out of reality.
First of all, the widely held belief that Greece has become a productive
desert is not true, notwithstanding the great deterioration of the
productive apparatus undergone particularly during the years of the euro.
Greece still has a large production base and infrastructure, despite the
significant blows due to neoliberal policies and the pressure of the
Eurozone. The introduction of the national currency, based on a radical
program, is precisely necessary to stop the decline of production and to
encourage the productive recovery of the country for the benefit of the
great social majority, within the framework of a new economic and social
model.

It is important to stress that, for the first time after many years, the
country's trade balance is now in equilibrium or even in surplus, as an
effect of the austerity memoranda on the country's economy. This means
that Greece will be able to repay all of its current import volume using
foreign exchange earnings from exports, tourism and other earnings.
This positive outcome will evolve even more favorably as the introduction
of the national currency and associated policies will boost the country's
production and exports, reduce imports and promote the substitution of
imported goods and products offered by the internal market.

Finally, the combination of a balance of external payments in equilibrium


and the implementation of effective controls on inward and outward
capital flows, especially for short-term speculative investments, will
significantly reduce the risk of speculative attacks that could drive our
national currency towards an undesirable trajectory, while occasional
fluctuations in the demand and supply of the Greek national currency
would be manageable by the use of existing foreign exchange reserves.

It goes without saying that Greece's gold reserves must be repatriated and
kept in our country.

FOR A NEW SOVEREIGN, INDEPENDENT, PROFOUNDLY


DEMOCRATIC GREECE, SECURE AND SOCIALLY JUST

Τ
hrough this booklet, we have tried to describe very briefly the course
of the transition to the national currency on the basis of our radical
program. We do not wish to close the subject, on the contrary we
want to give a new impetus to the debate and elaborations on the process of
transition from the euro to the national currency, a debate which has never
been allowed to take place in the media. The work of preparation tabled here
does not close the dialogue, it aims to open it within the Greek society.

The path of the national currency on the basis of a radical program such as
that proposed by Popular Unity (Laïki Enotita - La.E) responds to the interests
and perspectives of the great social majority, first of all the working class and
people. This choice will benefit the unemployed, so that they can find work
with full labor rights. It serves the interests of the youth who hope for a better
future in their own country. The path we propose will benefit the interests of
small and medium-sized peasants and of poor and middle strata of our society,
whatever their activity.

The path of the national currency on the basis of a radical program such as
that proposed by Popular Unity (Laïki Enotita - La.E) will only harm the
interests of a capitalistic oligarchy, servile to European and international
imperialist economic and political centers.
The transition to the national currency and together with a transitional program, of
progressive transformations having socialism as their horizon, such as the program
proposed by Popular Unit (La.E), is a sustainable path, ensuring the exit from the
crisis and the drastic reduction of inequalities and unemployment, implementing a
new sustainable productive model.

The transition to national currency in order to implement a radical program is a


process of participation and active struggles of the working class and the people. It
is a process for great economic and democratic transformations. It is a path of fight
and of breaking away from the neoliberal rules of the EU, a struggle that will pave
the way, in accordance with the will of the people, for the country to withdraw itself
from the European Union and leave it behind. It is also a way to implement a new
multidimensional strategy of economic and international policy, strengthening the
country's new choices by providing it effective defenses.
.

The reward of such a victorious strategy will be


a new sovereign, secure, independent, deeply
democratic, socially just and prosperous Greece.

A Greece whose people will be sovereign for the first time


and in which the participation of its youth, will build a
future worthy of its expectations.