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MEPs on Dijsselbloem’s appearance in Parliament today

GUE/NGL MEPs intervened this morning in a debate with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup.

“You know fine well that the Troika's programme caused 25% recession in the Greek economy and brought about a huge humanitarian crisis with over 25% unemployment, 2.5 million Greeks living below the poverty line, and 9 out of 10 unemployed people not receiving any unemployment benefit,” said Greek MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis, addressing Dijsselbloem directly.

He continued: “In Friday's statement you noted 'adequate primary surpluses'. The new Greek Government wants primary surpluses, wants neat public finances, but has requested a realistic downwards readjustment of the primary surpluses agreed by the previous government, and of the unreal 3 and 4.5%. When do you plan to use the word 'appropriate', i.e. appropriate primary surpluses that would enhance dynamic development of the Greek economy?”

German MEP Fabio De Masi said: “Dijsselbloem keeps defending socially devastating and economically failed austerity policies. Under German pressure, the Eurozone is heading down a disastrous path. The voice of reason is coming from Athens now and SYRIZA must be given the time and space to implement its policy priorities stemming from the Thessaloniki Programme and communicated to the European institutions this morning.”

Portuguese MEP Marisa Matias added: “Mr. Dijsselbloem has shown us today that the Eurogroup is still in denial about the catastrophic results of the adjustment programmes, notably in Greece. He tried to convince MEPs that Greek recovery was under way, after the country went back into recession in the 4th trimester of 2014.

“Mr. Dijsselbloem basically warned the MEPs present that he intends to continue to harass the elected Greek government in order to try to impose the same policies that led Greece to economic and social disaster, and that were overwhelmingly defeated in recent elections. The Greek government just presented a list of sensible proposals for tackling the humanitarian crisis in Greece and also for taking concrete steps to deal with the long standing problems of corruption, tax fraud, and tax evasion, which were left untouched by the Troika programmes and previous governments.”