Greece is being punished by the obstinate, pig-headed, anti-democratic plutocracy of the EU and the IMF for the crime of electing the wrong government, a government that opposes austerity as a misconceived and unworkable policy that creates unpayable debts and has indefensible consequences for the mass of the people. In May 2015, I went to Athens with the #DebtAction Group organised by Johnna Montgomerie of the Political Economic Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths College, to meet activists, trade unionists, journalists and academics and gauge the mood at ground level as Greece approaches the crunch. The resulting film looks at the effects of five years of austerity on household debt, and visits the CommonsFest, a forum for alternative politics, while economist and Syriza MP Costas Lapavitsas explains why the euro has been such a disaster for Greece.
Greece on the Edge? is part of a larger project, Money Puzzles, a documentary about money and debt which I’m making with Lee Salter, a sequel to our previous film together, Secret City (2012). An exposé of the City of London—the square mile at the centre of the capital that’s been called ‘a state within a state’—Secret City was made in the wake of the Occupy movement, which concentrated attention on the City as the Vatican of financial capitalism. Money Puzzles is being made at a moment when a new anti-austerity politics is becoming a reality in Greece, Spain and elsewhere, so it reverses the perspective and looks outwards beyond the citadel of finance, whilst conscious that in the UK, the Tories’ election victory makes the challenge ever more urgent.