THE neoliberal leaders who met at the G20 summit in Toronto are nothing more than global criminals.
That's the view of Canadian author and Toronto resident Naomi Klein in her latest column published in The Guardian.
She writes: "My city feels like a crime scene, and the criminals are all melting into the night, fleeing the scene. No, I'm not talking about the kids in black who smashed windows and burned cop cars on Saturday.
"I'm talking about the heads of state who, on Sunday night, smashed social safety nets and burned good jobs in the middle of a recession. Faced with the effects of a crisis created by the world's wealthiest and most privileged strata, they decided to stick the poorest and most vulnerable people in their countries with the bill."How else can we interpret the G20's final communique, which includes not even a measly tax on banks or financial transactions, yet instructs governments to slash their deficits in half by 2013.
"This is a huge and shocking cut, and we should be very clear who will pay the price: students who will see their public educations further deteriorate as their fees go up; pensioners who will lose hard-earned benefits; public sector workers whose jobs will be eliminated. And the list goes on."
She adds: "Already, workers, pensioners and students have taken to the streets against austerity measures in Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Greece, often marching under the slogan: 'We won't pay for your crisis.'
"The G20 is an ad hoc institution with none of the legitimacy of the United Nations. Since it just tried to stick us with a huge bill for a crisis most of us had no hand in creating, I say we take a cue from Martin and Summers. Flip it over, and write on the back of the envelope: Return to sender."