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DebtocracyFor the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. Debtocracy seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.

Debtocracy is a 2011 documentary film by Katerina Kitidi and Aris Hatzistefanou. The documentary mainly focuses on two points: the causes of the Greek debt crisis in 2010 and possible future solutions that could be given to the problem that are not currently being considered by the government of the country.

Aris Hatzistefanou, 34, is accustomed to uncomfortable reporting. A journalist since his teens, his long-running show infowar on Sky Radio was canceled just as his thought-provoking documentary, Debtocracy, was released.

From the authors: The idea came about during a Sky Radio show on how the Ecuadorian president was responding to the country’s massive debt. He started a simple financial audit of sovereign debt, and came to the conclusion that other countries were using Ecuador as a slave, like Argentina and many other countries before. The administration forced a haircut of 70% on its creditors.

Katerina Kitidi – editor in chief of TV XS – and I decided to produce the documentary. We faced a serious funding problem but, for obvious reasons, we didn’t want to ask any political parties, companies or – even worse – banks, so we resorted to crowd-funding.

It worked very well, we collected 8,000 euros in just 10 days, an unprecedented figure for a country like Greece, facing a serious economic crisis.

At the beginning this project was supposed to be a mere YouTube video. But because so many professionals offered their help (musicians, video editors), and so many people donated their money, it became a real documentary. The surplus was invested in promoting the movie.

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8 years ago

A terrific documentary that reveals the underpinnings of odious debt, and reminds politicians they have a responsibility to act as true fiduciaries, for their clients, 'the people' they represent. Although it is mostly subtitled, it is a great watch, and very informative towards understanding global economics. (check it out)

10 years ago

great documentary ... "we the people" must rise against IMF, Fed, WorldBank, Corporate SLAVERY !
10 years ago

Excellent doc! Very eye opening. Thank you for posting.

Rocky Racoon
11 years ago

Germany got it's money Canablising it's Eastern Brothers and Sister's. Catastroika I think is one of the best films I have ever seen on here.

11 years ago

Great documentary, interesting perspective. Pity about the subtitles being a bit out of sync at times.

11 years ago

as a greek i can ensure the potential viewer that he or she will be informed about the true causes that lead greece to her fianacial collapse.

although, in my opinion, there are certain causes related to greek social pathology that are not presented in detail or not presented at all.
for example the role of greek orthodox church in huge economic scandals and unequal civil rights or the utterly corrupted judical system and the systematic violetion of human rights by the police.this crisis is not just economic , it is a social crisis and this is why it is tragic.

this is one of the few documentaries about the greek crisis that doesn t reproduce the propaganda of the mass media and for that alone it worths seeing.

11 years ago

as a greek i can ensure the potential viewer that he or she will be informed about the causes that lead greece in her fiancial collapse and the people who live in this country in despaire.
the pathology of greek society is not represented in detail so the viewer is maybe left with questions that i would be happy to answear.
for example it is not mentioned that there is unfortunantly a lot of people with opinions similar to pantsios who not only are part of the probleme but also prevent us to stop explotation around the globe.

11 years ago

i can't even watch the doc cuz of your racist comment, i cant belive how much hate i have for stupid people like you and so yu know i'm from europe and don't have nothing to do with Ecuador or any other "third " world country you mentioned being repolsed compared with your mighty and in the top 30 richest countrys in the world gREECE lool

11 years ago

wow pantsios you make me probably have wet dreams with gRECEE the old empire , imperialist trash

11 years ago

Its not only that with Ecuador , Ecuador has lots of democracy and rights issues in the ''inside'' so not a comparison By Far with Greece ....!

11 years ago

Im greek and i live in Greece im living the situation in Greece .
Though i agree with some things stated by the Docu i hate the fact that it compares Greece with all those corrupted latin america countries not that greece is a ''saint'' we have corruption in many state departments and in policy but which country hasnt even USA has we may be 1st in europe but we definetely arent wolrd leader COME ON! But come on we are not Ecuador for heaven sakes we are ..or since some time ago in 30 richest countries in the world!
Ok i agree USA is not a ''saint'' did awful ''crimes'' around the world even orchistrated 9/11 the biggest deception but still it seems Lapavatsis wants us to retreat Euro ...well i wonder if that would solve all of our problems in Greece .
Anyway Pro and Cons and damn not this latin america -greece comparison i hate it!
However good Docu as far the editing and analysis of world's Debts!

11 years ago

in the begining of the documentary they say we all played a part by putting the civil servants and other leaders in charge... but we dont really have much choice when voting for our leaders! It's always the choice between voting for one id**t who will be controlled by special interrest groups or another id**t who if is not already connected with those special interrest groups, will be recruited.

11 years ago

O MG........ Mann we are living in ****** world, controlled by ****** cooperation..... and guess who pays the price at the end ... are simple people.

i don't understand why the rich wants be richer, while the poor is trying to live one day....

i just loved the part when the french guy from the parliament was screaming "we give them money to buy weapons from us (hypocrite)" This shows U how the system is corrupted and all this economy crisis could have been avoided.

we are living in such system that makes you live on debts ... from biggest countries like the US to the smallest countries like Lesotho, every nation live on debts.

at the end i have to say that you have money,you the power, when you have the power you can do whatever you want
(IMF is scam )

admin vPixle
11 years ago

OMFG, the GR wages have raised +27%, DE +7%. Thus Greek economy lost momentum and can't compete. "Ora et labora" on the one side and "Carpe diem" on the other side. Guess who is guilty? Why should Greece pay? Are they serious they deserved all those decades of big money and extra benefits comparing to the rest of the world? Their public sector is 3x bigger to the European average, their Joe Railwayman income is twice bigger to the German Jurgen Railwayman. Is Germany poor underdeveloped country? Greece economy haven't jumped "into first league", they have just multiplied all their bookkeeping by at least 1,27 I would guess by 4. "Greece was managed to be a lender"? Oh common, its up to them to keep/or not using the high yield credit card. Greeks aren't not children they have to pay their debts. They don't like it? Who cares.

11 years ago

Hello everybody, great documentary,
My only advice for everyone is : never get into a debt!!! Does not matter if you are a one citizen, company or a whole state.
If you have a debt your are becoming a sheep, a sheep controled by a shepherd (lender). And as you know, shepherd does not always have a best interests with his sheeps. Shortly, he will give them some freedom and grass, but in the end, they wil all end up at butchery.
So once again. Never get into a debt people.

Peter Karigiannis
11 years ago

This should not be an ideological, political, or class struggle. This is about global economic policies that are imperfect, combined with corrupt corporations, politicians, and lets be honest, elements of the population that protest today, that have profited from an imperfect and weakly regulated or controlled global economy.

Greeks are not lazy and they are not stupid. They have never and will never walk to their death or their own economic and political slavery.

Remember who you are and what you have contributed to this world. Do not be told you are unproductive, lazy, and inefficient. You were creating handheld computers out of bronze, created coins, commerce,and international trade over 2500 years ago.

Rise up, take back your nation recreate your industries, social programs and invest in the future of your children.

You are the cradle of civilization, fix it!

11 years ago

The analysis of how the debt crisis has developed over many years is mainly sound except when the various Marxist intellectuals interviewed in the video refer to old outdated slogans such as "class struggle". waxing ideological detracts from their valid criticisms. The remarks on an audit committee are sadly very true. Unfortunately non payment of the part of the debt they deem to be odious, e,g the Siemens debt, is not going to wash with creditors. The Marxist clearly want to destroy the system rather than reform it and rebuild it to their own ideological plan forgetting that humans are humans and once in power communists, like the rest , develop their own caste systems, party favourites, etc . Marxist economies have never succeeded and require authoritarian one-party regimes; but so-called western capitalism can survive when it has the will and ability to reform (big "ifs" admittedly). The best solution for Greece would be to tell the creditors that "enough is enough" and a that a disorderly default will ensue unless the debt is restructured after discussion and common understanding over 30 years with a five year grace period (for example ) at reasonable rates of interest. Germany and France, in particular have fragile banking systems heavily exposed to Greece and the global economic system from Brazil to China would be in danger of meltdown if Greece unilaterally defaults. It would be better for such countries to renegotiate the debt, on equal not dictatorial and insulting terms, with Greece rather than risk default and even debt repudiation.

12 years ago

It is time for the workers of greece to overthrow their goverment.
Take charge of the industries and have for the first time a Real Socialistic State. The only party that fortold and warned about all that's happening today in Greece is the communist Party and still is the only political body that tries to give the power to greek workers. As for the oportunists and others that say that debt is what causes today's crisis in greece, that's the real lie. The Capitalistic way of production and the Imperialism is what causes Greece, slow Death today. The debt is merely an excuse.
There is nothing racist about pointing out how germany's external policy works out and of course it is not racist to critisize a goverments work.
Noone implied that the german people is bad or whatever other name.
It is true thow that during the ww2 greece had their gold travel to berlin and many of countries infastructures worked beneficially to germany. Nevertheless greece was never compensated for these things.

12 years ago

IMF = International Maffia Fund.

12 years ago

Isn't it easy to go RACIST and blame things on Germany. Why not study Germany's ways and try to adopt some. They are making things (and quality things) people want. Real Easy. Greece on the otherhand doesn't make anything but they spend their time philosophizing to others.

Luyang Han
12 years ago

The comment of German salary is absurd. It is kind of common sense that in German industry people get one of the best income in Europe.

12 years ago

I must admit im a high school grade...but since I started investing in gold 10 years ago, I remember that in the late 90s oil price was below or around 20 dollars a barrel. All prices went up a lot in commodities in the last 10 years...but the one that is the most important, is oil...People say its debt and greed and corruption for the problems of Pigs and Ireland and Scandinavians but I think its not true, I really start to think lately that oil is the culprit and I dont think oil is going to be cheaper in the future which leads me thinking that this is just the begining and other countries will follow. I let you imagine oil at 17 dollar a barrel in1997 and 100 dollar today, this is the type of thing that can hurt any country as long as it depands on it ( we all do in order to live nice and happy life)...

12 years ago

Yes, IMF does rip off every country it goes into. BUT Greece started the destruction of its economy by itself, no one "helped" it. Which industries does it have, what is it manufacturing? Mostly agricultural products (overpriced!), provides tourism services (even more overpriced!!). Have you seen anything "Made in Greece" except the Greek cheese?! The Greek economy has been having a series of NDEs (near death experiences) for many years. It lied everyone about its debt, Greeks themselves try to avoid paying taxes (the main source of governmental income!) at all cost. Good luck asking for a receipt anywhere in Greece when buying something - they'll look at you as if you are trying to rob them. Most purchases go off the book-keeping.

Yes, Germany, France and Holland do benefit from weak Euro more than other countries. BUT just because they manufacture and export actual products! With German Mark, French Franc and Dutch Guilder they would still be exporting a lot and would be well-off.

Now, everyone in EU is trying to save Greece, but the Greeks blame EVERYONE except themselves! Absolute nonsense! Greek are so proud of being GREEK that they cannot admit that they all contributed to this crisis and the collapse of their economy. They cannot export "history stories", "Greek philosophy" and "Olympic games" anymore, it's time now to finally start manufacturing something and provide good and adequate services.

The Greek professor is a perfect example of the ignorance and illiterate judgement present in the Greek society.

12 years ago

Much of the crisis is really just political, except for in the Eurozone, where it is institutional. For an example, the Americans do have a crisis - A political one. The democrats cannot spend too much, because they talked alot about "fiscal responsibility" under Reagan. Now they're being held to their statements in the past and so cannot do what is required to stabilize the economy at a socially acceptable level. The Republicans use this to push as hard as they can to move resources from labour to capital. It's really just political. The USD isn't backed by anything, so there isn't really a fiscal crisis. The US gov't isn't revenue-constrained and could easily solve the problems they have. The same goes for any other country with a modern currency.

The Eurozone is a different matter. The EZ is really a confederacy at the moment. It is half-way between decentralised nations and a federation of nations. This means it's impossible to solve crises like this one while still maintaining political credibility. Any way forward has to encompass a massive revamp of institutions relating to the Euro, or a re-decentralisation of currency. For that to happen, the thought has to materialise and mature in the minds of the electorates and parties of the EU. When that happens, it will be politically doable to solve the problems of today. Before that happens, it's impossible to maintain credibility at home and abroad simultaneously while pushing for change. For example - Papandreou could easily tell the rest of the EU off and return to the Drachma, but this would completely destroy his and Greece's credibility in the EU and with bondholders (who cares?). What he's doing now is the opposite. He's trying to maintain credibility with the EU and the bondholders, but ruining it at home.

Artem Antonov
12 years ago

If only it had been in English or in Russian... Reading subtitles is annoying :)

12 years ago

One of the most insightful documentaries on the Greek debt crisis. Thanks for uploading.

12 years ago

Documentary in a nutshell

'...The IMF is to blame for lending us money with strings attached, the ECB is to blame for lending us low interest money for so many years, The markets are to blame for speculating, trading, buying and selling worldwide debt,
the Government is to blame for decreasing our taxes, and giving us government jobs, The Germans and everyone else is to blame for not overpaying their workforce like we did, and setting low retirement ages while lowering their taxes.

Funny I didnt see fiery protests of this size 10 years ago with banners saying
'Increase our taxes'
'Dont inflate our wages for your political gain'
'Don't Hire so many us in government jobs, there really is no need'
And 'Please Increase our retirement age'

Unlike Autocracies, In a democracy, If you dont protest at the Cause, you have no right to protest at the outcome.

12 years ago

I´m an argentinean who came to Ireland after the 2001-2 crisis.

So now I´ve outlived 2 crisis caused by the same cartel: Banks-IMF-WB-complying politicians, and yes, paid for media and all knowing economists. This cartel though can´t operate without yet another party: passive people. As in Ecuador and Argentina, it´s only when people react that things really turn around.

Southamericans, often disregarded as third class citizens of the world, are now an example to follow. There´s hope for Greece (and Ireland)! Just don´t buy into the supposed "lazyness" of the greek, or the irish "happy drinker" stereotypes to justify through gilt the perversity of an unchosen slavery through debt.
Make sure the responsibles go to jail or at least let them take the choppers, instead of innocent young people catching a plane seeking a future abroad.

12 years ago

Ireland is in the same position and I can say, as an Irish woman living here, it is very frustrating to have politicians meet on one night in November 2008 and sign away our sovereign rights to the Corporate bankers, IMF, EU and Big Business, indebting our nation for generations to come...and all done in a meeting where there was not even someone writing down minutes! What the hell is this all about? The previous commentators are stupid to think that ordinary people are to be held responsible for cronyism, corruption and sums of financial indebtedness that boggle belief!

12 years ago

As a person of greek heritage I find it bewildering that this doco backed by the unionist movement (see credits) provides only one view that being the leftist view. As a fellow contributor said "where were you....Let me guess - right, you conveniently enjoyed the party while it lasted" With excessive wages generous pension schemes early retirement schemes highest level of public service employees in world inefficient economy, rampant black economy, endemic corruption, rousfeti, messon to get jobs. But the people of greece elected these politicians liked the system now its payback time and lets blame everyone else. If you run your finances properly run a tight ship dont live beyond your means you dont have to worry about reposseion or interference by your creditors . Why is it that greeks of the diaspora in general have done well for themselves through sheer hard work savings paying taxes etc.

The comparison to Ecuador is laughable as Ecuador had oil, a commodity that it could sell what does Greece have? Oh that's right the sun and the greek islands and how to be corrupt and think the world or the EU owes them a living. when travelling to Greece my friends relatives that live there think we are stupid for working such long hours saving etc they laugh at us mock us well "who pays the ferryman now"

Great concept borrow money party buy goods have fake jobs retire early on pensions that pay you just as much if not more than when you were working and when money runs out blame everybody else and not pay back. I must go im on my way to a bank to borrow money to buy a Porsche, Ferrari a Villa in Santorini and Monte Carlo not make repayment when due and blame everyone else and call it odious debt

12 years ago

You could have saved your time and money making the movie, because you could have simply written in capital letters. EVERYONE ELSE BUT GREECE IS TO BLAME. Wonderful approach for a country that cheated it's way into the Euro monetary union (even paid Lehmann Brothers $300 Mio to doctor their numbers), spending far beyond their means and taking advantage of cheap European loans due to better interest rates as being part of the EU as well as the Euro zone. Damn, where were you guys when all that happened?! Let me guess - right, you conveniently enjoyed the party while it lasted ...

12 years ago

The world is insane.

12 years ago

This is funny. What if USA claim all its debt as odious and refuse to pay it too? Isn't this a nice way out? I can't believe you can put all the blame on other countries and institutions and none on yourself. Look at these arguments in the film:

1) Germany's wages increase too slowly (7%) comparing to other EU countries (27%). Therefore, it hurts Greece's competitiveness as Germany has cheaper labor.
2) The EU is setup in a bad way that takes advantage of Greece.
3) If we pay the debts, people life spans will decrease. People will have no money.

This is ridiculous. You are blaming Germany for cheap labors!!! I am pretty sure Germany's labor is fairly priced. It is your Greece workers being over-paid and this is why you spent too much on foreign goods and get huge debts.
Greece agrees to join EU. No one force Greece to join in the first place. This is like blaming Casio for letting you gamble your money and you want your money back after you lost.
I am pretty sure you will suffer if you have to pay your debt back. Please go watch American TV show "Until debt due us apart", "Max out" or any show with similar title. It will teach you why you should not over-spent and save money.

The odious debt part is purely shameless. Basically, it is trying to convince people that Greece defaulting on its loans is the right thing to do and the comparisons to Ecuador, Iraq, and Cuba are totally not applicable to Greece. The reasons are:

1) Greece are not under any dictatorship (now or recently) (Iraq/Eucador comparison)
2) Greece did not recently gain independence (19 centuries Cuba comparison)
3) Greece DO borrow the money to fill the gap in their government spending

I do not see how the current debt will be mostly odious, or how this will help the Greece government's huge deficit.

People in the world are not stupid and definitely will not let Greece/US/Spain/Ireland/Iceland/Italy/Portugal/England to forget their debt so easily. If they default on their debt or claim it odious, people will not buy their bonds ever again, at least I will not.

12 years ago

Here are similarities that I have seen in multiple countries:
1. No major universities and media channels tell the public how a debt based system works. They don't know or they don't want to tell you. Its both, you look who owns/control education and the media and you will learn that is the same group of people. Thats why finance/economics seems difficult, bc they do it on purpose to get you to follow what their "experts" think.
2. Politicians are always to blame bc they are too corrupt. The truth is you either go along with the banks/corporations and they reward you and make your economy look good while you are in office or you face up against them and they destroy you and your economy. That's why we CAN NOT count on politicians to solve our problems if the PEOPLE do not understand the problem (banks, debt system, and fractional reserve lending).
3. They brainwash you to think that your people are lazy or that they hate your success. This is only to divide and conquer and make you "choose" a politician to give you the illusion that you have a choice while they continue to rob your citizens.
4. The IMF, FED, WB, ECU, EU and any type of acronym steps in to "help" your country. Its all a lie, they are there to get their money and they will push you as far as you allow them to. They make the people pay their debts through taxes and selling your country resources for free or nothing. Then if the people wake up your money is in a tax haven somewhere and the bankers and politicians claim "political" prosecution in some other rich country.
5. Any country that refuses to pay its debts or that do something good for their people are "communist, socialist, evil, crazy" whatever.

I welcome the European and American citizens to the international fight that has been occurring for centuries....the people vs the banks/corporations/and their puppet politicians. I hope Greece and the rest of the world follow the example set by the brave citizens of Iceland.

12 years ago

The problem is not that Greece has a debt. The problem is that Greece needs money. And You cannot get money without compelling to conditions.

12 years ago

I like the idea of odious debt and how it is possible to just stop paying it. erhaps other small goverets will grow a pair and break free of their dependence on excessive debt. That might even aleviate the terrorist problem.

12 years ago

this is leftist propaganda. Irresponsible fiscal policy is to blame.

12 years ago

Irresponsible fiscal policy .

12 years ago

nice doc =o)

12 years ago

While watching this excellent and educational documentary I couldn't help thinking what we'll do when Social Security and Medicare run out the money in 20 some years....... invade Canada?

12 years ago

Very interessting to see the Greek perspective. The only thing spoiling it a little for me is that I suspect a pretty extreme left bias. Sarah Wagenknecht who was interviewed as the "deputy chairperson of Die Linke" is a plain anti democratic communist. Die Linke is the socialist party of Germany, the direct succesor of the SED that ruled East Germany in a one party dictatorship for more than 40 years. And within this party she's the official head of the "Communist Platform". Having said that, everything she said was plainly true and well known. The corruption of Siemens and upgrade of arms deals to Greece have been and continue to be discussed openly in the media. So why didn't they get a democratic politician to be interviewed for this? There wouldn't have been any problem in finding one to bring up the same facts she did. Spoils the credibility of the doc at least a bit is all I'm saying, it would probably help to know more about the other people being interviewed.

Still it's nice to see a doc about the European part of the problem. While docs about the American's involvement are abundant, I'm pretty annoyed by how hard it sometimes is to find reliable information about the European financial sector. Finding out who influences the European Central Bank and who exactely owns it for example is something that proved to be pretty difficult with no really conclusive answers so far.
Insights anyone?

12 years ago

With the FED un-audited the US economy is heading down the same road of cut social programs that is so clearly demanded of smaller economies. We in America are being trussed up in the same fashion by bailing out banks. The neoliberal system of credit, debt and payments represented by the IMF and the World Bank are nothing more than the wolves eating the sheep!

12 years ago

What is up with the subs? They dont seem to be working very well and large parts are missing.

12 years ago

Very informative. Good to know there are options to the monetary madness. Good for Ecuador. Go for it Greece! Who's next???

12 years ago

I think this is a great documentary, I learned alot about how the EU is structured and how the IMF is systematically taking over everywhere it possibly can. I think it gives us some great examples of just how brutal this neolliberal approach of deregulation and privatization is. We have seen what happened in Chile, Greece, and Argentina when everything is privatized and left up to an unregulated market. It creates a predatory environment where only the strongest, or richest rather, prosper. Common sense should tell us that if you put a system in place that places profit above all else it will self destruct. The larger guys will swallow up the smaller, reduce wages and benefits, the masses can no longer consume nor maintain a decent standard of health even, and the system fails. In the mean time, while it is falling into callapse, horrible injustices and cruelties take place. Expecting anything different is both niave and somewhat arrogant. These are lessons hard learned from history, principles that many men have died to pass on to thier children are dieing, all because of corporate spin and a lack of education or concern amongst the general public.

12 years ago

Like most western countries, greece has not the slightest chance of ever paying back it's debt. And the banks will not accept the loss. So the tax payer will pay for it. And to make that realisation less painfull for working class tax payers in europe the greeks now have to suffer.

adrian kelly
12 years ago

This doc is a revelation.
Is there some caped crusader out there who can vaporise the corporate cunts with this weapon of mass destruction.
Great doc. More of the same please

12 years ago

In the end, thorough auditing seems to solve some problems. The question is why it wasn't ever done, what mecanisms tainted each system into concealing the way money was borrowed, used, etc.. This leaves us where we started. But then, this whole issue of "odious" or "illegitimate" debt opens the door to escape viciuos circles that trap some societies in unescapable poverty. However this doc is evaluated, I believe hoping for good things can never be lame.

Antonis D. Politis
12 years ago

I'm Greek. Of course this is not a documentary about Greece.. As our world is becoming more and more an interconnected whole you should see that even a small country like Greece could cause trouble to the EU and the world. We should find out that we depend on each other: the collapse of Greece would be a disaster for EU and an economic slowdown for the world.

So talking about Greece today means than you try to find out how the modern global system works.

The important thing with the documentary is that it has been produced through small donations...

12 years ago

Pretty lame. Better watch money as debt to understand the whole corrupt system, than to worry about few small countries. Without debt, u wont have any money in existence :D