Greek citizens and the counry’s lenders – the Troika – seem to agree: both are not pleased displeased with the 11.5-billion-euro austerity package Samaras government prepared. However Greeks and Troikans agree for diametrically opposed reasons. Greeks want less austerity measures, the Troikans want more.
The Troika’s point of view seems clear: drastic cut of state spending, lay-offs in the public sector and state-run enterprises. Greece’s lenders allegedly rejected measures worth 2 billion euro, so the Greek media.
While Greece’s international lenders – IMF, EU and ECB – are in Athens, every meeting with the Greek Financial Ministry apparently ends with a bitter taste for the Greek government.
On Monday, the Troikans questioned some of the measures and demanded more details before blessing the new austerity plan and start preparing their report on Greece’s fiscal targets and structural reforms progress.
Greece’s international lenders have questioned some of the measures included in a near 12 billion-euro ($15 billion) austerity package prepared by the government and have demanded more details before signing off on the plan, a senior Greek official said on Sunday.
“They have some objections on some of the measures. They want more details to understand them,” the official told reporters after a meeting between the EU/IMF inspectors and Greece’s finance minister on Sunday.
The measures will be rejected if those details are not provided, the official said, without specifying what the objections related to. The IMF’s mission chief to Greece, Poul Thomsen, told reporters as he left that the two sides had a “good meeting”.
The austerity package, which Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has yet to persuade his allies to sign off on, contains a new round of unpopular wage and pension cuts for the next two years. (Reuters)
According to Greek officials, the Troika is pressing for the unpopular wage and pensions cuts as well as for the elimination of 150.000 jobs in the public sector before 2015.
According to Greek media, the Troika has reservations concerning the effectiveness of some of Samaras proposed measures. Greece’s lenders consider:
- that the measure of ‘labour reserve’ – civil servants are sent home and get 60% of their wage for 2-3 years – is not suffient to secure spending cuts
- doubts 400 billion euro for social security funds due to recession and unemployment
- doubts that the government will manage to further cut 500 million euro spending on medicine, due to debts of national health care organisation EOPYY to doctors and pharmacists
- doubts the government’s predictions on spending cuts totalling 750 million euro from expenses (operational and consuming costs) in the public sector
- doubts the government’s prediction on revenues totalling 3.2 billion euro from “combating tax evasion”
The Troika insists that state spending is cut.
Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras admitted that negotiations on the new austerity plan are still being held, but he expressed his confidence that an agreement would be reached shortly.
Maybe the agreement between Greece and its lenders would be reached shortly, however the disagreement between Samaras’ government partners grows. Democratic Left and PASOK eye the reactions within the society and several professionals groups but also within their own parties.
The Troika smells blood, and will not let go. They are like a dog with a bone. They see their chance to dismantle the welfare state, and that is what they will do. Samaras can confiscate all of Akis Tsochatzopoulos stashed money and offer it cash to them, they will refuse. The money is in reality only an excuse to get at the real purpose of all of this, the dismantling of the welfare state. Every new rule, every new saving they demand targets working people and their “benefits”. They will not stop until they get what they want, cheap labour without rights or benefits.
These guys, currently in Athens saying “Nein” should be put in a Greek prison and charge by the Greek government with economic terrorism. Their release should be considered only after the whole MoU is cancelled and a proper, working system is put in place to help Greece climb out of the whole it was put in. And the people of Greece should be properly compensated by the EU for all the trauma and hardship they suffered as a direct result of EU imposed austerity.
Dog with a bone? too mild Ephilant! They are vampiers clamping their jaws in the jugular… Unfortunately, no one is going to lift a finger either. I wonder how much it will take before someone does…