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MEPs demand the immediate end to austerity in Greece

GUE/NGL MEPs reacted strongly to the statement delivered this afternoon by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on the status of the Greek bailout programme. Despite recognising progress in the Greek economy, the Commissioner urged further progress on the structural reforms and the swift completion of the programme.

After welcoming efforts to take Greece out of economic stagnation, GUE/NGL MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis called on creditors to keep on their part of the agreement:

“The Greek government has put in place policies to bring down unemployment, to bring about recovery, to put an end to clientelism and to put an end to corruption and fraud but for these goals to be fulfilled creditors must respect their part of the agreement and provide Greece with debt relief. We have to show to the European people, especially after Brexit, that we are moving towards recovery, not more austerity.”

German MEP Fabio de Masi called for an immediate end to the destructive policies that have allowed, with impunity, the exploitation of Greek´s national wealth by banks and businesses: 

“The longer the Troika governs Greece, the longer recession will last. French and German banks have been bailed-out through Greece, not Greek workers.

“Wages have been slashed, pensions cut, VAT has been increased, and public property sold out. The German company Fraport even got a Troika guarantee for the purchase of Greek regional airports. You may call this competition, I call it theft.”

Greek MEP Nikolaos Chountis launched a scathing attack on Commissioner Moscovici, in charge of economic and financial affairs

“Mr Moscovici, you are lying about the state of the Greek economy and the consequences of the 3rd austerity package. For the EU, the Greek Government is the best neoliberal student in Europe, the best performer in privatizations and austerity. You are both hypocrites since you are privatizing the public wealth of Greece, in the name of ‘fair growth’.”

Also addressing the Commissioner, Greek MEP Sofia Sakorafa deplored the effects the Commission´s austerity policies have had on the Greek people:

“You have forced Greece to sell everything. You even required for water to be privatized. In seven years of austerity, you led unemployment to reach record levels – the highest in Europe – you pushed one in three Greeks to live below the poverty line, you made 300,000 thousand young scientists to become economic migrants and you turned pensioners into beggars.”

“Now you are saying that if the austerity program is fully implemented, the Greek economy will recover. That is, if destruction continues, progress will be made!” Sakorafa concluded.  

Photo credit: www.desbyrne.photos