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The road to the Greek hell is paved with false EU and IMF statistics

A new blatant intervention of the European Commission was triggered by the decision of the third Court of Appeal of Athens on August 1st, on the hearing of the former President of ELSTAT (Hellenic Statistical Authority), Andreas Georgiou, for repeated breach of duty.

By Leonidas Vatikiotis, Greek economist and analyst

The provocative intervention of the European Commission (indication of their great discomfort over the decision of the Court of Appeal), which continues to treat Greece as an occupied country without sovereign rights, was via the Commission’s spokesperson Annika Breidthardt, who invoked the independence of the statistical services. In essence, the mouthpiece of Brussels if anything she asked was the unaccountability of the Eurostats’ favorites, even at the expense of their country, as was repeatedly done by A. Georgiou. In addition, as rightly highlighted in the announcement of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors on August 3rd, the unequal treatment of the European Commission creates two classes of citizens. Narratives of creditors were reproduced by mainstream Press (FAZ, FT, Politico, Bloomberg, et. al.) which appeared A. Georgiou, who now lives in Maryland, as a victim.

Needless to say, that the venal and loafer bureaucracy of Brussels would have never reached the point of showing its teeth by interfering with such frequency, if the so-called left-wing government of SYRIZA (which governs with the extreme-right party of ANEL) had not given them the right. Going as far as to accept in the prerequisites of the last instalment, the acquittal of A. Georgiou (proof of the inability of his acquittal through the lawful way), as well as paying his legal costs (just for humiliating them), the message sent out by the government is that the rule of law will have the fate of the welfare state: sacrificed at the altar of Memoranda!

The judgment of the Court of Appeal may once again have angered the parasites in Brussels, but it abstained from the proposal of the Prosecutor, Mr. Lambros Patsavellas, who, in his speech, asked for the conviction of Georgiou for all three offenses, which did not concern the data falsification, as this will be trialled in the Criminal Court.

Specifically, the former President of ELSTAT, A. Georgiou, was accused of the following: First, because he simultaneously occupied two critical posts (one as a President of ELSTAT and another as deputy division chief in the IMF) – for this he was acquitted. Secondly, because he did not call for the BoD meetings – for this he was acquitted. And, thirdly, because he sent the 2009 deficit figures all by himself, without ELSTAT taking knowledge – for this, he was found guilty. The contradicting fact that he was acquitted for not calling for the BoD and then convicted because he sent the data to Eurostat by himself (because he did not call for the BoD to approve them!), is utterly blatant!

Let take a look one by one the above mentioned accusations.

Servant of two Masters!

The position of the President of ELSTAT is a dedicated full-time position (as provided by article 15, par. 1, sentence b of the 3832/2010 law). However, when on June 29, 2010, A. Georgiou passed by the approval of the Conference of Presidents of the Greek Parliament, he concealed that he had not resigned from the IMF but had taken an unpaid leave. His direct dependency on the IMF was apparent on the e-mail he sent to the representative of IMF in Greece, Paul Thomsen, urging him to intervene on the government, via Brussels, in order to change the law on the statistical service.

Georgiou, concealed his professional relationship with the IMF because if made known, he could not even be a mere member of the Board, as the only parallel position allowed, is that of a faculty member at a University. However, Georgiou, is not a professor! He is not even a statistical scientist, since he has no relevant studies. Even at the IMF, he was not working as a statistician, but as a simple economist. It seems, that in the case of statisticians there is a constant tradition which was first pointed out by the American economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz: The IMF, recruits, second and third-class scientists to make the dirty job.

Georgiou was concealing the truth that he serves two Masters for more than a year (from July 2010 to September 2011). Thus, along with the position of President of ELSTAT he also held the post of Deputy Chief of the IMF Statistical Service, where admittedly resigned on July 16, 2010, but he only put in into effect on November 10, 2010. The fraud was uncovered by MPs and journalists, so Georgiou had to admit it. Even then, he pretended the naive, stating that he did it in order to secure his pension. The question which subsequently arises is why didn’t he wait until November 10, 2011, to complete his pensionable years at the IMF and then move to Greece? Obviously, his highly lucrative relationship of dependency with the IMF served the hateful organization who wanted to have its own people in key positions in Greece…

What if there was an evident conflict of interest between lender and borrower? A contradiction which was also described by the prosecutor himself, who in the end was applauded by dozens of ordinary people who had flooded the Court of Appeals to watch the trial …

For the offense of holding simultaneously two positions, the Court of Appeal decided that Georgiou is innocent.

ELSTAT, one man’s principle

From November 2010 to September 2011, Georgiou refused to convene a meeting between the other 6 members of ELSTAT (N. Logothetis, G. Georgantas, A. Philippou, G. Simiyiannis, St. Balfousia and K. Skordas) who consisted the seven-member collegial body of the independent Authority.

In order to leave no doubt regarding the motives of the BoD members we should state that (according to article 12 of law 3832 / 9.3.2010) its seven members are defined as follows: Four members (of which one is appointed as chairman and another as vice-chairman) are elected by the Presidents of the Parliament, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, following a public notice by a majority of 4/5 of its members. One member is nominated by the Governor of the Bank of Greece, one member by the Minister of Finance and another member by the Workers’ Association. As a result, they were not representatives of the protestors of Syntagma square, nor representatives of grassroots unions … Thus, Georgiou, acted behind their back, as his illegalities were so blatant that they could not be accepted by employees who did not have the psychology of a gauleiter nor of a man in special mission who knows that whatever his actions may-be, his contractors, will cover for him.

His argument, that there was no trust between the members, and that is why Georgiou did it all by himself, was overturned by the prosecutor, who argued that if Georgiou did not trust them, he could entrust the vice-president to convene a BoD. So, why didn’t he request it from N. Logothetis?

Georgiou (who never missed a chance to insult Greece) to further strengthen his position he was issuing press releases in Greek and English. In these press releases the Board members were being presented as politically animated, with unionist-like and “abnormal” behavior!

For the offense of the non-convergence of the BoD, the Court of Appeal decided that Georgiou was innocent.

Guilty of the 2009 deficit

Of particular importance, however, is the decision of the three-member Court of Appeal, to convict Georgiou in two years’ imprisonment, with a three-year suspension, for the irregular transmission of the 2009 data of budget deficit. This decision angered the creditors and the neoliberal establishment in Greece. In particular, A. Georgiou he was convicted because he did not put into account ELSTAT as a collective body and because the latter did not consent on the transmission of the data, in violation of Article 10, par. 2(f) I of Law 3832/2010. More specifically, it states that “ELSTAT in particular: a. Prepares and executes the annual statistical program and produces and publishes with the status of the “national statistical office” as defined in para. 1 of article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003. 223/2009, the official, national and European statistics of the country.”

Georgiou, however, chose to forward only the data for the 2009 deficit. Thus, in a completely unmonitored way, he predicted the 2009 deficit at 11.9%, first, later 13.6% of GDP later inflated it even more at 15.4% and shortly thereafter even higher: at 15.8%!

Georgiou, who was found guilty of this offense without being granted any extenuation and with the maximum penalty, violated the principles that are strictly followed in all statistical services of Europe.

The court’s decision to convict Georgiou for the arbitrary transmission of the 2009 deficit figures paves the way for revealing and putting into question the scheme that trapped Greece in order to enter the era of Memorandums under the eye of the EU-IMF and of course of the domestic economic elite. If the creditors were having a say on which of the three charges the IMF official, Georgiou, must not be convicted, they would choose this particular one, as the rejection of the way that the data of the 2009 deficit was transmitted (as much as it contradicts Georgiou’s acquittal for the non-convergence of the BoD) paves the way for the pending trials which question the 2009 deficit itself! Τhis a decision may not was the best possible, but eases the way of proving that the deficit was formed by the creditors’ orders in order to justify the literature of fiscal derailment.

The current phase of litigation about false Greek Statistics started only a few days after the last disbursement of the 7.7 million tranche, on July 7, and after the SYRIZA-ANEL government had implemented every single claim of the European creditors and the IMF. Then they realized that an unpleasant surprise was awaiting them. These included the acquittal of three members of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund S.A. (this is the super-fund of privatizations) from Italy, Spain and Slovenia and of the former President of the ELSTAT (Hellenic Statistical Authority), Andreas Georgiou, who in 2009 inflated the deficit so that Greece be placed under the Memoranda status quo. They even ratified his claim for 100.000€ compensation for his legal costs, which is an unparalleled act of political humiliation.

The surprise which followed the disbursement was related to the objection on behalf of the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Xenis Demetriou against the Decree of the Counselors Appeal (No. 969/2017) issued on May 26, 2017, where Georgiou was relieved from the accusations that he artificially inflated the budget deficit. With this particular Decree, proposed by the Prosecutor of the Court of appeal, Mr. John Koutras, and adopted by the majority (only the Prosecutor Christina Romesi voted against) decided not to be referred to the three-member Athens Court of Appeal, George and two of his associates (Konstantinos Molfetas and Athanasia Xenaki) for the accusation of false attestation in criminal complicity at the expense of the Public under the particularly aggravating circumstance of the extreme high value of the object of the crime.

It should be noted that this was the second time that the Mr. George and his co-defendants were exempted by Decree of the Council of the Court of appeal. An identical discharge decision (1149/2015) from the accusation for falsification to a felony degree was preceded.

Georgiou was never acquitted!

Consequently, those who argued that Mr. Georgiou has been acquitted twice so far make a broad interpretation of the Decree. They turned the exculpatory acts into acquittals with apparent objective to present Mr. Georgiou as a victim of persecution. And instead of apologizing for his inability to prove his innocence to the court hearing, as any accused is obliged to do, he appears as a victim of political squabbles, when the only political conspiracy in progress aims at his acquittal.

The rage of the EU, who treats Greece as a Banana Republic, making use the slavish attitude of Tsipra’s government, is fully understandable on the basis of the possible consequences a final court decision will have for all the countries that voted for Greece’s lending in 2010, which will conclude that Georgiou and Eurostat altered fraudulently the financial figures of Greece. Hundreds of deputies across the EU have therefore been deceived with non-existent economic data in order to save the French-German banks. That being the case, the EU is now trying to not only save her valuable associate in Athens, who in fraudulent ways and in violation of not just the scientific ethics but also of laws, paved the way for the steamroller of the Memoranda, but also to conceal its own responsibility in the falsification of statistical data. That is, not to open the Windbag of Aeolus and reveal the great robbery organized by the EU and IMF at the expense of the people, using the excuse of “rescues” …

In order to better show how provocative and against of any concept of law is the intervention of the creditors on putting an end on the Georgiou chapter, it is worth a small flashback on the very serious accusations against the former powerful man of the ELSTAT who paved the way for the then Finance Minister, G. Papaconstantinou, to compare Greece with Titanic as a self-fulfilling prophecy, paving the way to the speculators…

It is worth to stand in three specific examples which demonstrate the cooking in the data of the ELSTAT that took place under Georgiou’s responsibility, so that the 2009 budget deficit would initially reach 11.9% and later 15.8% of GDP. They also show why the creditors, the pro-Memorandum governments (social-democratic PASOK, the so-called technocrats of L. Papadimou, the right-wing New Democracy and the current SYRIZA-ANEL) do not want the case before the hearing.

The “creative accounting” was used in the data of: First, hospitals, second, 17 DEKOs (Public Companies of General Interest) and hundreds of legal entities (around 500) and third the famous swap of the former Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis, who were “cooked” with the help of Goldman Sachs so that the budget deficit to rise in high levels in order to launch the “shock therapy” in 2010.

Statistical alchemies

The amount that the ELSTAT sent as hospital debts as part of a consistent recurring process in October 2009 in order to establish the tables with the financial data of the EU Member States was “just” 2.3 billion euros. However, somehow in the notification that arrived a few weeks later at Eurostat, dated October 21st, 2008, the amount had increased by an additional 2.5 billion euros, reaching at 4.8 billion euros. Then it was considered that even this amount was not sufficient enough to get the deficit to a convenient for their purpose, therefore the Greek government added an extra 1.8 billion euros, justifying this decision with a “technical report on the review of the obligations of Hospitals” which was sent on February 3, 2010. Thus, the 2.3 billion were magically become by the “Wizard” Georgiou 6.6 billion euros! They were so determined (because of the guarantees that they certainly had outside Greece) that they did not take into account even the Court of Auditors, which, out of the alleged 6.6 billion, approved only 1.2 billion euros. They did not even “lower” the 6.6 billion when one and a half month after the unlawful increase in the budget deficit, the Finance Ministry demanded that hospital suppliers accept a 30% haircut for their unpaid services in 2005-2008. Thus, while public funds benefited from this cut, this discount was never recorded in the fiscal figures.

It is worth to underline another fundamental dimension, which was emphasized in the first report of the Truth Debt Committee in June 2015 under the aegis of Greek parliament (here is the full text) with aim to show that Greek debt was illegal and odious: “This statistical practices, which were used to calculate the liabilities of hospitals, clearly violate both the ESA95 European regulations (see . ESA95, par. 3.06, EC no. 2516/2000 Article 2 of Commission Regulation EC no. 995/2001) as well as the Code of Practice of the European Statistical System (European Statistics Code of Practice), particularly as regards the principles of independence of the statistical measurements, statistical objectivity and credibility” (page 24).

Thus, assurances of anonymous sources in Brussels, which are being republished as a whole and without criticism assuring that specific methodologies were used so Eurostat guarantees the reliability of the data are… nonsense.  They are just pulling the wool over the people’s eyes! Nowhere, the ESA95 and ESA2010 regulations indicate this recording process. The fact that the assurances of Brussels are arbitrary is obvious from the fact that even eight years later different sources of Eurostat show a different levels of deficit…So Eurostat should first decide on the level of the 2009 deficit which in every opportunity shows off the very bad quality of the data it publishes (on the contrary, with the US counterpart), and then they can issue firmans in order to put a tombstone on a debate that has a long future.

All in…

In violation of the international regulations, 17 DEKOs and hundreds of legal entities from the non-financial corporations in the General Government sector were also included in order to inflate the deficit. These entities included from ETHEL (Thermal Bus Company), ILPAP (Electric buses of Athens and Piraeus), ISAP (Urban Rail Transport SA) and OSE (Hellenic Railways Organisation) to the Center for Renewable Energy Sources, the Industrial Property Organization, the University Research Institute for Communications and Computer Systems and the Varvakeios Market of fresh meat and fishes.

The result of this actions was to raise the public debt by at least 18.2 billion EUR. In order for A. Georgiou to be able to pass this change, which was implemented without the slightest studies, he canceled the Service Board of Directors and turned it into one man’s authority. Moreover, his “daring” exploits include his effort to deceive the Parliament, where in order to justify the reclassification, he submitted 74 files that supposedly contained the relevant documentation. In fact, they did not contain studies as they should, but questionnaires, balance sheets and a multitude of other documents that were totally unprocessed.

Only pizza and souvlaki menus were missing from these files, knowing that such records are hardly even opened, not to mention… read!

The last trick that Georgiou and his associated recruited to inflate the deficit was the sinful swaps by Kostas Simitis. Specifically, the debt swap agreements signed by the Greek government with Goldman Sachs in order to hide the public debt. Instead of revealing the alchemy used for Greece’s accession to the eurozone and hold account the financial staff of K. Simitis (L. Papademos then governor of central bank and later appointed by Troika prime minister, G. Stournaras then chief of economists and now governor of central bank, etc.), these very alchemy were once again used against Greek people, as Georgiou arbitrarily AGAIN decided to allocate the € 21bn swap within the years 2006-2009, increasing retroactively and in violation of EU regulations  the public debt. Why did he distributed it in previous years and not in the next, as he could do, this is something they never want us to know.

The Europeans tried to cover up the ELSTAT scandal invoking the famous independence of statistical institutes. The European Commission statement said in a nutshell that “if we find the data credible, it should be enough for you”. This is extreme political authoritarianism that shows that the independence … seriously hampers Democracy. Prohibits the democratic control, removes sovereign rights, facilitates poverty, and becomes a policy enforcement tool that no people have decided, nor approved. The independent authorities therefore cancel Democracy, just like the EU itself that uses every means to conceal the ELSTAT scandals!

Translation: FF

Published in: Counter Punch

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Ein ökonomisch-politischer Vorschlag für den Ausweg Griechenlands aus der Krise anhand des Austritts aus der Eurozone und der Europäischen Union

Zweieinhalb Jahre nach der Machtergreifung der SYRIZA und ANEL sind wir in der Lage eine Auswertung ihrer Laufbahn zu leisten, während es gleichzeitig gilt, dass die volksfeindlichen Austeritätsmaßnahmen noch nicht vollständig umgesetzt wurden.

  1. Der Preis der Unterwerfung

Die letzte Evaluierung der Institutionen hat mit sich 113 neue volksfeindliche Maßnahmen gebracht: darunter den Verkauf 40% der Braunkohlestationen der Öffentlichen Elektrizitätsgesellschaft (ΔΕΗ), den Ministerialbeschluss für den verkaufsoffenen Sonntag, die Verschärfung der Ankündigungsbedingungen von Streiks, usw.. Die Regierung erklärt sich sogar bereit, zwecks der Austrittsbeschleunigung aus den Memoranda 90% der Maßnahmen bis Ende 2017 sanktioniert zu haben.

Während der 2,5 vorangegangenen Jahre auf SYRIZAs und anderer Verantwortung:

– sind die Häfen von Piräus und Thessaloniki, 14 Regionalflughäfen, der damalige Flughafen von Athen (Elliniko), der Leiter des nationalen Erdgassystems (ΔΕΣΦΑ) privatisiert worden.

– wurde der Austeritätszeitraum bis 2060 verlängert, insofern der Primärüberschuss bis dahin auf 2% liegen muss (während bis 2012 auf 3,5%).

– wurden neue direkte bzw. indirekte Steuer durchgesetzt, sind die Renten weiter gesunken worden, sind tausende kleinere und mittlere Unternehmen stillgelegt worden.

– befindet sich Griechenland immerfort auf Platz 1 der europaweiten Arbeitslosigkeitsrate, während die neu geschaffenen Arbeitsplätze überwiegend auf Teilzeitbasis sind.

– ist das Aussperrungsverbot der Arbeitsgeberschaft durch Milderung des entsprechenden Gesetzes aufgehoben worden.

– gelten die Staatsschulden auf 175% des BIPs immernoch als lebensunfähig, (während sie vor der Memorandaära auf 115% lagen).

– hat SYRIZA den Schaden, den er den Volksinteressen verursacht hat, zu erleichten versucht, indem sie auf die volksfreundlichen Maßnahmen, die sie anzuwenden vorhat, besteht: zB die anzwuwendenden Gegenmaßnahmen, jeweils der jährliche Zweck des Primärüberschusses erfolgreich abgeschloßen wird, die Verstärkung der Gesundheitsversorgung ersten Grades, etc..

Es handelt sich dabei um Maßnahmen, die die Austerität und die Verschuldung zu versöhnen versuchen. Sie schaffen die Austerität nicht ab.

Letztendlich war SYRIZAs Verdienst katastrophal, da sie die Linke mit der Politik der Schuldenherrschaft, mit den Privatisierungen und der Austerität identifizierbar gemacht hat.

  1. Die Chronik einer vorangekündigten Kapitulation

Der Verlauf Syriza zur Kapitulation, die im Juli 2015 mit der Unterzeichnung des Memorandums und des Darlehensvertrags von 86 Mrd. Euro offiziell bekannt gegeben ist, hätte auch vor der Wahl im Januar 2015 vorgesehen können.

Die Ursache der Kapitulation von Syriza war die Dominanz der radikalsten rechten und pro-europäischen Kräfte. Aus der Analyse dieses Konflikts können die notwendigen Schlüsse gezogen werden, damit die Linke nie wieder der Blutspender zur bürgerlichen Herrschaft ist und eine grundsätzliche Seite der bürgerlichen Demokratie verwendet: die mangelnde Rechenschaft der gewählten Vertreter. In diesem Rahmen ist es eine allgemeine Regel, dass die “Schönheitswettbewerbe” des Wahlkampfs in politische Entkleidung in der Nachwahlzeit sich umwandeln. Zum Beispiel, obwohl Hollande gewählt wurde, damit er die Reichsten besteuert, hat er den Siebenstunden-Arbeitstag verfolgt. Und Tsipras wurde gewählt, um die Sparmaßnahmen und die Memoranda abzuschaffen, aber Moscovici hat ihn gelobt, weil die Regierung Tsipras Maßnahmen angewendet hat, die keine andere pro-Memorandum Regierung in der Vergangenheit realisiert hatte.

Aber lassen Sie zum Zeitraum vor den allerersten, erfolgreichen Wahlen von Syriza zurückkehren: im hoffungsvollen und “problemlosen” Jahr 2014, damit wir nicht nur die Vorbereitung der Syriza Unterwerfung feststellen sondern auch die Verantwortung von Varoufakis darstellen. Die Führungspersönlichkeit der Bewegung DiEM25, obwohl er richtig gemacht hat, die Vereinbarung vom August nicht anzunehmen, hat er besonders erheblich zu ihrer Ankunft beigetragen. Wir sollen uns in Erinnerung rufen, dass er zuständig für die Vereinbarung vom Februar gewesen war. Gemäß dieser Vereinbarung musste Griechenland seine gesamten Schulden rechtzeitig begleichen. Ebenso hatte er erwähnt, dass 70% des Memorandum realisiert werden muss und als Minister hatte er IWF und den Gläubigern Raten bezahlt, und so weiter…

Vor allem sollten wir an die Fakten vor dem Jahr 2015 uns erinnern.

Syriza hatte seinen Erfolg der Parlamentswahlen durch zwei Arten beschleunigt: erstens, hatte sie die politische Konfrontation aufs Feld des Parlamentes gebracht und zweitens, hatte die radikalen Forderungen der Volksbewegung abgestumpft.

Schon ab 2012 hat Syriza klar gemacht: Zur Abschaffung der Memoranda ist es nicht erforderlich, dass ihr sich beschwert und streikt. Es genügt uns zu wählen! Durch diese Politik haben die Mobilisierung der Plätze im Jahr 2012 und die mächtige Bewegung im Zeitraum 2010-2011 sich geschwächt. Die Mentalität der Auftragserteilung ohne die Beteiligung und den Kampf der aktivsten Teile der Gesellschaft hat auf diese Weise geherrscht. Aus diesem Grund sind die Maßnahmen der Samaras Regierung mit weniger Reaktion in Vergleich zu den Jahren 2010 und 2011 getroffen worden und die Kapitulation des Jahres 2015 vorbereitet worden.

Zusätzlich zur Schwächung des Arbeits- und Volkskampfes ist die Verstümmelung der wichtigsten Forderungen der Volksbewegung geschehen. Die Ansprüche auf Zahlungseinstellung, Schuldenerlass, Verstaatlichung der Bänke und Austritt aus der Eurozone und der europäischen Union sind in der Unklarheit der politischen Rede von Syriza erstickt worden. Diese Unklarheit war der erste Schritt auf dem Weg zur bedingungslosen Kapitulation von Syriza ohne ihren Sturz von der Basis. Wir sollen anerkennen, dass Syriza keine besondere Mühe gegeben hat um seine Mitglieder bezüglich der Parteipolitik über die Europäische Union zu überzeugen. Vom Anfang an hat Syriza so eindeutig mit der Europäischen Union sich identifiziert, dass noch die radikalen Linken der Partei die Forderung des Austrittes nicht unterstützt haben. In diesem Rahmen hat Syriza die Forderung «Kein Opfer für Euro»  in «Euro um jeden Preis» und das grandiose «Nein» des Referendums in «Ja» umgewandelt. Diese letzte Tat von Syriza hat den Volkswillen angegriffen und ist sondergleichen.

  1. Warum Austritt aus dem Euro und der EU

Tatsache ist, dass die Situation unangenehm wird, immer wenn ich in Deutschland bin und über die Wichtigkeit des Austritts aus dem Euro und der EU spreche. Die erste Reaktion ist, dass das Gleiche von der AfD und von Hans-Werner Sinn des Ifo unterstützt wird. Ist diese Meinungseinheit nicht ein bisschen widersprüchlich?

Ganz im Gegenteil ! Sinn, AfD, Merkel, Schäuble und Schulz nennen den Weg, dem Deutschland und das europäische Kapital folgen müssen um mit den USA zu konkurrieren. «2050 wird kein europäisches Land zu den 8 Wirtschaftsmächten zählen», führt das Reflexionspapier der Europäischen Kommission mit dem Titel: „Die Globalisierung meistern“ auf.

Aus diesem Grund brauchen sie die EU: als Stützpunkt der mächtigsten, multinationalen Monopole und hegemonialen Länder, also als Stützpunkt Deutschlands.

Für uns kennzeichnet wiederum der Austritt aus dem Euro und die Zersetzung der EU durch Kämpfe– die, betrachtet man die Geschichte des Klassenkampfs, nicht unberührt von sozialen Konkurrenzen bleiben– einen großen Schlag der bestehenden Klassenherrschaft. Der Austritt aus dem Euro ist zudem notwendig aus spezifischen und materiellen Gründen. Genauer gesehen:

–          Sodass eine Geldpolitik (Zinssätze, Wechselkursparität, Geldmenge) angepasst an die Bedürfnisse des wirtschaftlichen Aufstiegs und die Bekämpfung der Arbeitslosigkeit entstehen kann und keine Geldpolitik gleich für alle, die den deutschen Verhältnissen angepasst ist.

–          Sodass eine Verstaatlichung der Banken ermöglicht werden kann.

Ähnlich machen spezifische und materielle Gründe den Austritt aus der EU notwendig. Die EU hat Dani Rodrik  sehr zutreffend als Werkstatt einer hyper-Globalisierung bezeichnet, im Sinne dass dort alle Maßnahmen realisiert werden, die schrittweise und experimentell im Rahmen der NAFTA, der Welthandelsorganisation usw. angewandt werden. Der Austritt aus der EU wird immer notwendiger:

–          Sodass Industriepolitik ausgeübt werden kann, im Rahmen eines großzügigen Programms staatlicher Investitionen, das in sich an alle ausschlaggebende Bereiche richtet (Schiffbau, Landwirtschaft u.a.)

–          Sodass wir uns vom engen finanzpolitischen Rahmen entledigen, den das europäische Finanzstabilisierungsabkommen auferlegt (Griechenlands zu genehmigende Haushaltsplan usw.)

In weitem Umfang betrachtet wird der Austritt Griechenlands aus der EU in Wechselwirkung mit den Kämpfen in anderen Ländern Europas und insbesondere in den Ländern Südeuropas stehen, wo z.B. soziale, nationale, regionale Kontraste immer sichtbarer werden. Es wird folglich kein eingegrenzter Kampf innerhalb der nationalen Grenze Griechenlands sein.

In folgendem Rahmen ist der Austritt aus dem Euro nicht ausgeschlossen: die EU muss in andere, regionale Unionen umgewandelt werden, z.B. die des europäischen Südens (wo eine größere finanzpolitische Einheit herrscht), des Balkans oder des Mittelmeers. Zum Ziel wird die Bildung von Koalitionen und die Nutzung von Skaleneffekten. Ziel ist eine erneute Gesetzgebung ungleicher Mechanismen und vernichtender Konkurrenzen, die wie im Beispiel der EU immer ansteigen werden, zu vermeiden. Als Alternative wird die Bildung von Entschädigungsmechanismen für die Mitgliedsstaaten mit einer schwächeren Produktivität, wie z.B. Albanien oder Mazedonien, wenn wir von einer Balkan-Union sprechen oder der Maghreb-Staaten, wenn wir von einer Mittelmeer-Union sprechen, im Vordergrund stehen. Also die Bildung dauerhafter Mechanismen für Umverteilung, die die schwächeren Produktivitätsstaaten entschädigen, wie es haufenweise in den 80er Jahren in der EU mit den Förderprogrammen (z.B. Programme für die Unterstützung der Mittelmeerischen Länder) und später in kleinerem Ausmaß (Delors-Paket, CSF, NSRF usw.) passierte, jedoch unter der Bedingung der Erfüllung reaktionärer Reformen (Beteiligung von Privatpersonen bzw. Privatisierungen, Flexibilisierung der Arbeitsbeziehungen etc.).

  1. Die Bedingungen des Austritts

Wenn man die Details des Austritts aus der Eurozone untersucht, wird erstens die Frage der Währungsparität gestellt. Den Tag der Ankündigung wird die Parität der Drachma zum Euro 1-1 und schrittweise wird eine Abwertung bis ca. 30%-40% folgen.

Diese Abwertung ist notwendig, weil erstens die heutige Parität des Euro nicht den wirtschaftlichen Fundamentalfaktoren Griechenlands entspricht. Es wird durch die bedeutende Gewicht Deutschlands in Eurozone  durchgesetzt und dient seinen Exporten. IWF hat neuerdings gesagt, dass eine angemessene Parität für eine mögliche deutsche Nationalwährung noch 30% höher als Europarität wäre. Diese aber durchschnittliche Parität, die niedrig für Deutschland ist, ist für Griechenland zu hoch.

Das Ziel der Abwertung ist die Νutzbarmachung des Entwicklungspotenzials Griechenlands. Heutzutage ist nach glaubwürdigen Forschungen (z.B. Bank von Griechenland) der Kapazitätsauslastung des Fabrikpotenzials eine der niedrigsten in EU. In allen Produktionszweigen beträgt 64%, in den Konsumgütern 65% und in den Investitionsgütern 60%. In den kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen und sogar im verarbeitenden Gewerbe ist die Situation noch schlimmer und das nicht verwertete Produktionspotenzial beträgt 51,3%. Jede zweite Maschine ist praktisch außer Betrieb.

Das Vakuum der Produktivität Griechenlands unterzeichnet außerdem, dass das Problem Griechenlands heutzutage nicht die Abwesenheit von Investitionen ist, wie es überall behauptet sei, sondern der Mangel an einer Nachfrage, die das Bruttoinlandsprodukt absorbieren würde, hätte die produktive Struktur Griechenlands zu 100% oder fast hundertprozentig funktioniert.

In den obigen Rahmenbedingungen ist die Möglichkeit von Inflationsdruck ausgeschlossen und außerdem sollte es auch zu einer Inflationsrate in der Höhe von 8% kommen, ist auch in IMF Studien überprüft worden, dass der Wirtschaft nicht zu paralysierenden Phänomenen führen kann. Aber in Griechenland ist es bewiesen worden, dass die Inflationsrate sich in kontrollierbaren Werten bewegen wird.

Es ist somit zwei Fragen gemäß der Wirkungen der Einführung einer neuen Währung in dem alltäglichen Handeln kreiert, gemäß den Krediten in Euro und das Bewahren von privaten Ersparnissen im Bankwesen.

Bezüglich der Ersparnisse, sie werden direkt in die neue Währung umgerechnet.

Als was die Krediten betrifft, das doppelte Exit ist mit dem Default allen Rückzahlungen der offiziellen Kreditoren von Griechenland und spezifischer der angegebenen im Rahmen der drei Darlehensverträge, bzw. Memoranda (2010, 2012 und 2015), dessen Illegalität und Verfassungswidrigkeit bereits bewiesen ist. Die Rede ist (laut Dokumentation von 30.09.2016) von 69,5% eines Schuldens der Gesamthöhe von 315,4 Milliarden Euro, bzw. von 217 Milliarden Euro. Bedingung dafür ist die Missbilligung der Darlehensverträge nach internationalem Recht mit der Begleitung einer internationalen Kampagne, die beweisen wird, dass die sogenannte Rettung Griechenlands in der Tat eine Rettung des deutsch-französischen Bankwesens war (vor allem der Deutschen Bank, der Societé Generale usw.). Innerhalb dieses Kontexts haben die EZB und die IMF als Sicherungsmechanismen der Kreditinstitutionen gehandelt und sollen/müssen zusammen mit den profitierten Privatbanken die Kosten tragen, bzw. bezahlen.

Als was die private Schulden zu den Banken betrifft (Wohnungsbaudarlehen, Kredite zur Liquidität der Betriebe usw.) sie werden nach der Einführung eines neuen Gesetzes zur neuen Währung umgerechnet so dass es keine Verpflichtung zur Rückzahlung in Euro entsteht.

Der Übergang in die neue Währung kann nicht mit sofortiger Wirkung eintreten, da unter normalen Umständen eine Phase von sechs Monaten für das Ausdrucken der Menge der in Griechenland zirkulierten Banknoten und Münze benötigt wäre. Dieser Übergang kann mittels IOU’s (Schuldscheine) und der verbreiteten Zirkulation des plastischen Geldes, womit Verrechnungen, die Bezahlung von Rechnungen usw. ermöglicht werden könnten.

Die Nationalisierung der mehrmals mit öffentlicher Gelder rekapitalisierten Banken, die Durchsetzung von Kontrollmechanismen für die Kapitalzirkulation, der Widerruf der Privatisierungen anfangs der Infrastrukturen (der Hafen von Piräus, der an die chinesische Firma Cosco verkauft wurde, 14 regionale Flughäfen, die vom deutschen Fraport gekauft wurden, die Bahn, die an die italienische Ferrovie Dello Strato gekauft hat, die griechische Telekom, OTE, die von der Deutschen Telekom übernommen wurde usw.) dienen als Erfolgsbedingungen des doppelten Austritts. Es soll übrigens erwähnt, dass alle Käufer komplett oder teilweise von anderen Staaten kontrolliert sind.

  1. Die Beschaffung der notwendigen Front

Allerdings wissen wir, dass es ein eklatanter und paralysierender Widerspruch existiert. Die Forderung nach einem doppelten Exit obwohl sie sich aggressiv als notwendiger Faktor für den Austritt aus der Krise setzt, wird selbst von avantgardistischen Teilen der Arbeiterbewegung nicht unterstützt. Ungefähr 30% der TeilnehmerInnen in Umfragen stehen auf einen Austritt aus der Eurozone. Ein Prozentsatz, der aus einer anderen Perspektive eine soziale und nicht so politische Homogenität zeigt, wenn wir in Betracht halten, dass keine parlamentarische Partei diese Forderung unterstützt.

Darüber hinaus, wenn wir etwas in Betracht halten müssen, ist dass die katastrophale Rolle des Euros und der EU [der Bevölkerung] noch zu beweisen ist. Wir brauchen noch mehr ernsthafte Bemühungen um die Gesellschaft zu überzeugen, dass auf der einen Seite die Steigerung des Wohlstands und auf der anderen Seite das Verbleiben in die EU sich gegenseitig ausschließen. Entweder das Eine, oder das Andere. In anderen Wörter: Entweder würdigte Renten oder in die EU bleiben!

Unter diesen Umständen sind die avantgardistischen Kräfte in Kontakt mittels kämpferischen Fronten mit anderen Kräften, die sich immer noch täuschen lassen oder einfach schätzten, dass wir noch nicht für eine Kollision bereit sind, zusammenzuarbeiten. In anderen Wörter, können wir für die Formulierung kämpferischer Forderungen die Gründung von kämpferischen Gemeinschaften und das Mitlaufen mit Kräften, die Interessen und Wille sich gegen den neoliberalen Angriff zu verteidigen, nicht die Forderung nach einem doppelten Austritt als Voraussetzung einer Zusammenarbeit zu setzen. Diese Forderung für einen Austritt aus der Eurozone und der EU soll die Kräfte des Kampfes einigen und nicht spalten.

Die avantgardistischen Ideen haben immer verloren oder sie wurden zu Karikaturen, wenn sie unter Quarantäne gestellt wurden. Im Gegenteil, sie haben immer gewonnen wenn sie beeinflusst und sich beeinflusst gelassen haben, wenn sie sich zur öffentlichen Kritik und Auseinandersetzung offen geblieben sind und die Fähigkeit zur Anpassung mit der gleichzeitigen Erhaltung und Erneuerung dessen subversiven – revolutionären Kernes behalten haben.

Die Zuständige für die Analyse der Daten des Wahlkampfes der Obama-Kandidatur im Jahre 2012, die bestens die rückkehrende Informationen aus den sozialen Netzwerken benutzt haben, deuteten dass jedes Mal dessen Intuition nutzlos war und wurde sich als falsch erwiesen. Das politische Verhältnis der Bürger sei unberechenbar. Sie haben also die Wähle gewonnen, als sie die Mitteilungen der Bürger – Empfänger bearbeitet und wahrgenommen haben und somit dessen politischer Aussage dazu angepasst haben.

Warum sollen wir vor der Kommunikation mit der Welt des Kampfes und der frontalen Aktion, die die Niederlage und den Umsturz dieser Politik als Ziel setzt Angst haben?

 

Memorándum: una apisonadora para el pueblo griego

Los pre-requisitos del Gobierno grego aprobados por una estrecha mayoría de 153 parlamentarios (de un total de 300) el 18 de mayo equivalen a un nuevo super-memorandum, mientras las medidas agudizadoras del empobrecimiento se extienden hasta 2021, tres años después del final del tercer programa en vigor, que acaba en agosto de 2018.

Leonidas Vatikiotis

El nuevo memorandum (el tercero votado por los parlamentarios de SYRIZA y ANEL, tras el acuerdo de agosto de 2015 y los ore-requisitos de mayo de 2016) sacrifica en el altar del superávit fiscal cualquier aumento del PIB que pudiera existir. La reducción del PIB en un 0,5% en el primer trimestre de 2017 acaba ya con las proyecciones optimistas de reducción del desempleo, que se habían incorporado en el presupuesto de este año. No es ninguna coincidencia que el crecimiento proyectado del PIB de 2017 en el medio plazo se limite a un 1,8%, muy por debajo del 2,7% previsto en el presupuesto estatal.

Las medidas incluidas en el 4º memorandum, que se han cualificado en el objetivo presupuestario a medio plazo del Programa 2018-2021, equivalen a un torbellino y se pueden dividir en 4 categorías generales:

Medidas de recuperación

Siete medidas tienen un Impacto directo en el ingreso disponible de los ciudadanos, es decir, profundizan la pobreza.

  1. Reducción de las pensiones

La llamada diferencia personal entre pensiones primarias y suplementarias ha sido objetivo del gobierno, con una reducción que alcanza hasta un 18% de la pensión pagada. En números absolutos la reducción alcanzará una media de 185 euros al mes y en algunos casos hasta 300 euros, y se espera que afecte a 1,35 millones de pensionistas.

En la primera línea de fuego estarán los pensionistas de la antigua TEVE (Agencia Aseguradora de los Autónomos), médicos, abogados, ingenieros y farmacéuticos retirados, dobles pensionistas, etc. La medida se aplicará desde el 1 de enero de 2019. También sufrirán pérdidas los jóvenes pensionistas que se retiren hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2018.

  1. Reducción del ingreso libre de impuestos

Esta medida, que según el Ministro de Economía Eykl. Tsakalotos, causaría su dimisión si se aprobara, será aplicada el 1 de enero de 2020 y se estima que suponga una carga para cada familia de unos 600 euros al año en promedio. El nuevo umbral de ingresos libres de impuestos, que afectará exclusivamente a los pobres, se desarrolla de la siguiente manera:

1,250 euros (antes 1.900 euros) para los contribuyentes sin hijos

1,300 euros (antes 1.950 euros) para los contribuyentes con un hijo a cargo

1,350 euros (antes 2.000 euro) para los contribuyentes con dos hijos a cargo

1,450 euros (antes 2,100) para los contribuyentes con 3 hijos a cargo o más.

Los ahorros para el Presupuesto del Estado o el coste que pagarán los pensionistas por los recortes de pensiones en 2019 ascienden a 2,26 millones de euros el coste que pagarán los contribuyentes por la reducción drástica de los ingresos libres de impuestos a partir de 2020 es de 1.920 millones de euros (1,92 millardos).

  1. Aumento de las contribuciones a los seguros

En el artículo 58 se establece que a partir del 1/1/2018 las cotizaciones de seguros de los autónomos se calcularán sobre la renta mensual, incluidas las contribuciones. Se trata de un robo sin precedentes – una confesión del fracaso de la EFKA (Institución de Seguridad Social), ya que ¡las cotizaciones se calcularán sobre un ingreso inexistente! Según los cálculos realizados por profesionales, ¡el consiguiente aumento, en relación con el año en curso, puede alcanzar el 37%!

  1. Reducción de los regímenes salariales especiales

Los oficiales del ejército, la policía, el cuerpo de bomberos y la Guardia Costera reaccionaron ferozmente, y forzaron al Gobierno en el último momento a proponer subsidios para cerrar la brecha provocada por la reducción de los niveles salariales. Sobre la base de la racionalización, el Gobierno intentó eliminar los subsidios que habían llevado a niveles salariales más sostenibles.

Además, según una declaración de POSDEP (Federación Panhelénica de Asociaciones de Profesores y Personal de Investigación), también se produjeron recortes salariales en las universidades, desmintiendo las proclamaciones del Ministro de Educación, Sr. Gavroglou, en la reunión de rectores del 13 de mayo, que habló de aumentos salariales de los profesores en todos los niveles, que iban del 2,5% al 7,5%. Incluso si hubieran sido aplicados, dichos aumentos habrían sido absorbidos por los aumentos de impuestos…

  1. Reducción de subvenciones a municipios y regiones

Sobre la base del artículo 8OA, a partir del 1 de enero de 2018, el importe total que se ha de transferir anualmente del presupuesto ordinario a los municipios y regiones no debe superar los 3.400 millones de euros (3,4 millardos). La decisión se justifica de la siguiente manera: como los municipios lograron elaborar y ejecutar presupuestos equilibrados, ¡no necesitan los Recursos Independientes Centrales! Por lo tanto, es evidente a dónde conduce la famosa “independencia financiera” de los municipal: a la retirada gradual por parte del Estado de la financiación y la transferencia del coste a las espaldas de los ciudadanos.

  1. Gravamen de arrendamiento inmobiliario a corto plazo en el contexto de la economía compartida

Esta solicitud particular, contenida en los artículos 83 y 84, incrementa significativamente el coste de Airbnb y era un requisito de los hoteleros para reducir la brecha de precios entre hotels y arrendamientos a corto plazo de plataformas elecrónicas que hacían que los hoteles no fueran rentables.

  1. Uso más extendido de medicamentos genéricos

El artículo 88 alienta a las farmacias a prescribir cada vez más medicamentos genéricos baratos con el incentivo de una deducción obligatoria de las compañías farmacéuticas si los genéricos superan el 25% de los medicamentos incluidos en las recetas. Este porcentaje puede ser ajustado anualmente, por decisión del Ministro de Salud. Por otra parte, se pueden establecer los objetivos incorporados en el sistema de prescripción electrónica para todos los médicos, así como las sanciones! Como resultado, el gasto farmacéutico se reducirá, en beneficio del Presupuesto Estatal, aunque con efecto desconocido en la salud de los asegurados.

El Comité Científico del Parlamento ya ha expresado reservas sobre la constitucionalidad de los recortes en los derechos de pensión y los salarios especiales. En un extenso informe, el Comité se pregunta si se garantiza o no un justo equilibrio entre las exigencias del interés general, tal como se invoca desde el Gobierno, y la protección de los derechos fundamentales del individuo. Por supuesto, SYRIZA, al igual que todos los demás gobiernos que firmaron un memorandum, no dijo ni pío…

Medidas del Liberalismo Realmente Existente

El Capítulo E, titulado “Disposiciones de Competencia del Ministerio de Justicia” describe todos los detalles de la modificación del Código de Procedimiento Civil para permitir el inicio de las subastas electrónicas. El gobierno y los banqueros, bajo el temor de las reacciones populares que culminaron en el período anterior, establecen el marco institucional que permitirá el desalojo incruento de miles de hipotecados de sus casas, sin publicidad. El artículo 959.1 enmendado del Código de Procedimiento Civil, indica sugestivamente que “la subasta electrónica es llevada a cabo por el notario electrónico certificado, a través de los sistemas de subastas electrónicas. Las subastas electrónicas se llevan a cabo los miércoles o jueves o viernes de 10.00 a 14.00 o de 14.00 a 18.00”.

De acuerdo con las disposiciones del Acuerdo Financiero habrá un endurecimiento de los procedimientos presupuestarios, Una enmienda a la Ley 4270/2014 establece que la presentación del anteproyecto de presupuesto anual del Estado está sujeta a la observación del Consejo Financiero de que se cumplen las disposiciones del Acuerdo Financiero (artículo 66). ¡Liberalización de la venta de medicamentos sin receta! Confiado en que la venta de medicamentos en supermercados resultará en el aumento de sus precios, el Gobierno se apresura a imponer precios máximos para su compra por el sistema de salud, para no cargar el presupuesto. En cuanto a la carga sobre los ciudadanos, se deja al estado de ánimo de la industria farmacéutica….

Según lo dispuesto por la Troika doméstica, es decir, por intereses comerciales específicos que tienen interlocución directa con el Gobierno, el artículo 49 prevé la apertura de las tiendas los domingos de mayo a octubre, a excepción del segundo domingo de agosto. De hecho, el párrafo 2 elimina todas las restricciones previas sobre el tamaño del local, la relación jurídica con las cadenas de tiendas, y así sucesivamente. Esta medida es una orden de los grandes almacenes a los ejecutivos de SYRIZA y pronto dará lugar a una redistribución en las cuotas de ventas a expensas de los mercados tradicionales como el de la calle Ermou, en beneficio de los centros comerciales como el que hay cerca del aeropuerto. De hecho, en el memorando explicativo, en un impecable dialecto neoliberal que se ha convertido en la lengua nativa de SYRIZA, se afirma directamente que el desafío es mejorar la competencia… ¡y que el más fuerte sobreviva!

Otro “regalo” a ciertos intereses privados es también la ampliación del propósito de las Sociedades Administradoras de Reclamaciones, que se encuentra en el artículo 48. El 4º Memorandum les da la oportunidad adicional de administrar bienes raíces que han estado cargados con avisos de cambio o de ejecuciones hipotecarias. Este cambio entrega viviendas y locales comerciales que estaban garantizados en las “hipotecas rojas” a las garras de los depredadores.

Además, como concesión a los propietarios de escuelas privadas, ofrecen la oportunidad a los estudiantes de participar en clases de idiomas extranjeros en escuelas privadas.

La imposición del liberalismo más primitivo de SYRIZA se acompaña de la introducción del “acceso abierto” de las autoridades fiscales en los datos de los contribuyentes para lograr la clasificación de las características de riesgo de evasión (perfiles de riesgo), de una parte, (esto es, “Estado gran hermano”). Y por otra parte, se garantiza la inmunidad absoluta de quienes logren reestructuraciones o anulaciones para evitar el riesgo de ser perseguidos (es decir, se baraja y se vuelve a dar cartas, ¡por personas que están por encima de la Ley!). También se otorga inmunidad a los miembros de la Junta Directiva de EOPYY (Agencia Nacional de Servicios de Salud) y otros comités, creando de facto un cuerpo de funcionarios estatales -mandarines que operan más allá y por encima de la ley.El artículo 39 del nuevo memorándum permite la intervención y el control por parte del Estado sobre las finanzas de los partidos políticos. En concreto, se afirma que “la expedición de cupones, cuya compra es un medio de financiación, sólo se permite si […] existe mención del nombre, CIF o número de identidad del comprador, si el importe de la financiación es más de cincuenta euros.

Medidas contra los trabajadores

La promesa de SYRIZA de restablecer la negociación colectiva tuvo el mismo destino que los memorandos rotos: “A partir del 21.8.2018, el marco institucional de la negociación colectiva vuelve a la condición establecida en 1876/1990 (A’27)”, como se menciona en el informe explicativo.

Las medidas para mitigar los efectos de los despidos colectivos anunciadas por SYRIZA (“importes para cobertura del auto-seguro, cantidades disponibles a través de la responsabilidad social corporativa para la formación y la consultoría”) figuran efectivamente en el artículo 17, titulado “Control de los despidos colectivos”. Pero estas son medidas sobre las que “el empleador puede llamar la atención de los empleados”. ¡Puede o puede que no! Como podían hacer en el pasado, sin el cuarto memorándum de SYRIZA.

Las opiniones del Consejo Laboral Supremo no son vinculantes. El informe explicativo del 4º Memorando señala que “la decisión negativa motivada del Consejo Laboral Supremo por el incumplimiento de las condiciones relevantes es una presunción de nulidad de los despidos ante los tribunales civiles” y nada más. ¡Lo que significa que no tiene un carácter vinculante!

Las malas noticias para los despidos colectivos son evidentes desde las primeras líneas del informe explicativo, en el que se afirma que la disposición propuesta toma en consideración “la reciente sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia de la UE” (Compañía General de Cemento Heracles -AGET Heracles- contra el Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social) C-201/15 del 21 de diciembre de 2016, que modifica el marco legislativo para el control de los despidos colectivos con el fin de armonizar el Derecho nacional con el Derecho de la UE”. La decisión fue interpretada como una “ventana” para facilitar el despido de 236 trabajadores de la fábrica de Chalkis, a petición de la multinacional francesa (Lafarge, propietaria de AGET Heracles), introduciendo una interpretación más flexible de la ley griega que era claramente mucho más favorable a los trabajadores que la de la Unión Europea. Es por ello que Lafarge había recurrido ante el Tribunal Europeo, desafiando la ley griega. En lo que se refiera al cierre patronal, lo importante es la denuncia presentada por el Portavoz del Sindicato de Jueces y Fiscales en el Parlamento el 16 de mayo, que sostiene que el artículo 20 que figura en la Parte B (“Regulaciones Laborales”) del Memorando, introduce por la puerta trasera el cierre patronal… ¡que SYRIZA supuestamente no permitía que se introdujera! Ni el Gobierno, ni los acreedores ni sus portavoces dijeron ni una palabra ante esta revelación. La medida retrógrada también se ve confirmada por la modificación de los párrafos 1 y 2 del artículo 5 de la Ley 1264/82, en la que se declara explícita y categóricamente que: ¡está prohibido contratar a esquiroles y se prohíben los cierres patronales! Estos artículos fueron enmendados. En otras palabras, dejaron de ser vinculantes para los empleadores como lo fueron hasta el 18 de mayo.

Por lo que respecta a los permisos sindicales (artículo 19) establecen un marco único que regula uniformemente los permisos pagados y no pagados. Es más que obvio que un Gobierno que impone tales medidas contra los trabajadores no puede ser llamado un gobierno de izquierda. sino las sobras de un capitalismo fallido.

Privatizaciones

En el 4º Memorandum se regula la puesta a disposición “desde la fecha del registro del estatuto de la Sociedad Anónima al Servicio General del Registro Mercantil, ipso jure i¡y sin ninguna compensación, desde el Fondo Estatal de Desarrollo de Activos (TAIPED) a la Sociedad Anónima los derechos de propiedad, los derechos de gestión y explotación, los intereses financieros adquiridos, los derechos intangibles, así como los derechos de explotación, mantenimiento y explotación de las infraestructuras que habían sido transferidos al TAIPED. ¡En consecuencia, todo pasa al superfondo para su liquidación!

Además, las siguientes doce entidades jurídicas pasan inmediatamente al citado superfondo: OASA (Compañía de Transporte Publico de Atenas) y sus filiales (OSY SA y STASY SA), OSE SA (Compañía Ferroviaria), OAKA (Centro Olímpico Atlántico de Atenas), ELTA (Correos de Grecia), el Aeropuerto Internacional, las Salinas Griegas, Corte Corporativa Industrial de ETVA, Corinth Canal S.A, Compañía Central de Mercado y Pesca, Mercado Central de Tesalónica, TIF – HELEXPO y tiendas libres de impuestos.

Para el 31 de diciembre de 2017, el 66% de las acciones de DEPA (Sociedad Pública de Gas) del capital social de DESFA (Gestión del Sistema Nacional de Gas Natural) deben ser vendidas a través de licitación internacional realizada por el TAIPED.

El temperamento de SYRIZA en la venta de bienes públicos se refleja con exactitud en la tabla incluida en el medio plazo, derivada del TAIPED, que muestra que en 2017 y 2018 ¡se producirán recogidas récord! Al parecer, SYRIZA no solamente sabe cómo vender a saldo a la gente de la izquierda, sino que también saben liquidar la riqueza pública…

El 4º Memorándum prevé también la contracción del DEI (Junta de Electricidad Griega) de forma que en 2017 su cuota en el mercado minorista del sistema interconectado se limite al 75,24%, en 2018 al 62,24% y en 2019 al 49,24%. Otro golpe aplastante a la DEI vendrá del aumento de las tarifas anuales de la electricidad subastada de 16% en 2017, de 19% en 2018 y de 22% en 2019. La imposición de la contracción de la DEI a través de la vía administrativa, es decir, por medio del poder del Estado, muestra no sólo cuán huecas son las creencias anti estatales liberales, sino también que el Gobierno junto con la Troika legislan en nombre de los intereses privados. Nadie duda que detrás del artículo 101 hay ciertos individuos que operan en el mercado de la energía. ¡Es por ellos que los diputados de SYRIZA y ANEL traicionan una vez más la confianza del presionado pueblo griego!

Contramedidas: endulzando la píldora de los excedentes  

El Gobierno trató de endulzar la píldora del nuevo memorandum y la sangría de trabajadores y pensionistas prometiendo un paquete de medidas -las famosas contramedidas, que se aplicarían siempre y cuando se alcance un superávit del 3,5% del PIB. Las contramedidas incluían la reducción del ENFIA (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) por importes impositivos de hasta 700€, no superiores a 70€, reducción del tipo impositivo del 22% al 20%, reducción de la tasa especial de solidaridad y del impuesto de sociedades del 29% al 26%   Las contramedidas también incluyen subsidios de vivienda para un máximo de 600.000 hogares, atención médica gratuita para una proporción muy pequeña de la población con ingresos inferiores a 1.200 euros, programa de guardería, comidas escolares, prestaciones por hijos, medidas laborales dirigidas a los desempleados de la OAED (Organización para el Empleo y la Fuerza de Trabajo de Grecia), la reducción de gastos farmacéuticos para los contribuyentes con ingresos hasta 1.200€, etc.

El problema no es que las contramedidas se vayan a implementar pasados dos años. El problema es cómo la condición sine qua non para su aplicación es el logro de superávits fiscales escandalosos a través de la aplicación de las medidas antes mencionadas, así como cualesquiera otras que puedan ser necesarias hasta que el programa se complete, en agosto de 2018.

Por lo tanto, las contramedidas, que son migajas y sólo se aplicarán en la medida en que el FMI esté de acuerdo, funcionan como la zanahoria que legitima el azote de la reducción de las pensiones y del nivel de ingresos exento de impuestos.

Por último, pero no menos importante, una cosa que se repite desde 2010 con irritante exactitud es la inclusión en el Memorándum de una serie de disposiciones correctas y necesarias. Por ejemplo, en el actual Memorandum, entre otros muchos elementos (como la abolición del régimen de exención de impuestos de los diputados con el artículo 71, la reducción del IVA sobre los suministros agrícolas del 24% al 13% con el artículo 70, la prohibición de la financiación de partidos políticos por entidades jurídicas, etc), cabe mencionar la creación de un registro electrónico de factores de producción para proyectos públicos y privados, estudios, servicios técnicos y otros servicios científicos relacionados. Asimismo, la creación de una plataforma electrónica de adquisición de servicios de salud y la introducción de una programación anual de adquisiciones que, si no elimina, restringe significativamente el potencial de corrupción que plantea la descentralización de las adquisiciones sobre la base del principio de “hospital y abastecimiento”.

En mi opinión, la inclusión de tales medidas de modernización urbana por parte de todos los gobiernos del memorandum PASOK, ND y SYRIZA y sus ministros de Salud (Loverdos, Adonis, Polakis) es un intento de embellecer los propios memorandos y deconstruir a quienes los culpan como una causa de retroceso social. De hecho, todos juntos (PASOK, ND, SYRIZA) demuestran su incapacidad para manejar los bienes comunes sin tener a la Troika sobre sus cabezas, para que les dicte incluso cómo debe tener lugar el suministro de medicinas.

Por esta razón extra son peligrosos y cuanto más rápido salgan del poder, mejor….

Traducido para Rebelión por P.R.

Memorandum–steamroller for the Greek people

By Leonidas Vatikiotis

The prerequisites passed by a tiny majority 153 MPs (in an overall number of 300) of the Greek government on May 18th, equivalents to a new super-memorandum, as the new measures which further deepen the poverty extend up to 2021, three years after the end of the current 3rd programme, on August of 2018.

The new Memorandum (3rd in a row voted by the MPs of SYRIZA and ANEL, after the agreement of August 2015 and the May 2016 pre-requisites) is sacrificing on the altar of the budget surpluses any potential of GDP growth that may existed. The GDP shrinking by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017 already cancels the optimistic projections for the reduction of unemployment, which had been incorporated in the budget this year. It is not at all coincidence that the projected GDP growth of 2017 included in the Medium Term is limited to 1.8%, much lower than the 2.7% provided by the state budget

The measures included in the 4th Memorandum, which have been quantified in the Medium-Term Budgetary Objective of the 2018-2021 Program, tantamount to whirlwind and can be divided into four general categories.

Recovery measures

Direct impact on disposable income of citizens, namely deepening poverty, will be brought by seven measures:

  1. Reduction in pensions

The so-called personal difference between primary and supplementary pensions came into the government’s target, with the reduction reaching even 18% of the paid pension. In absolute numbers the reduction will reach an average of 185 euros per month and in some cases up to 300 euros, while it is expected to affect about 1.35 million pensioners.

In the first line of fire will be thrown the pensioners from the former TEVE (Self-employed Insurance Agency), retired doctors, lawyers, engineers and pharmacists, double-pensioners, etc. The measure will be applied from January 1, 2019. Losses will also suffer the young pensioners who will retire by 31/12/2018.

  1. Reduction of the tax-free income

This measure, which according to Minister of Economy, Eykl. Tsakalotos, would be the reason of his resignation, if passed, will be applied on 1 January 2020 and is expected to burden each family with an average of 600 euros per year. The new tax-free income threshold, which will exclusively hit the poor, develops as follows:

1,250 euros (from 1.900 euros) for taxpayers with no children

1,300 euros (from 1.950 euros) for taxpayers with 1 protected child

1,350 euros (from 2.000 euro) for taxpayers with 2 protected children

1,450 euros (from 2,100) for taxpayers with 3 or more protected children

The savings to the State budget or else the cost that the pensioners will pay from the pension cuts in 2019 amount to 2.26 billion EUR and the cost that the taxpayers will pay from the drastic reduction in the tax-free income starting in 2020, is EUR 1.92 billion..

  1. Increase in insurance contributions

In article 58 provides that as from 1/1/2018 insurance contributions of freelancers and the self-employed will be calculated on the monthly income, including contributions.

Article 58 stipulates that as of January 1st 2018 the freelances and the self-employed insurance contributions will be calculated on the monthly income, including insurance contributions. This is an unprecedented robbery – a confession of the failure of EFKA (Single Social Security Institution), as contributions will be calculated on non-existent income! According to calculations made by professional parties, the consequent increase, in relation to the current year, may reach up to 37%!

  1. Reductions in special wage regimes

Officers of the army, the police, the Fire Brigade and the Coast Guard fiercely reacted, forcing the Government in the last minute to propose allowances in order to close the rift triggered by the reductions caused by the shrinkage of wage levels. On the grounds of rationalisation, the government attempted to remove allowances that led to more sustainable wage levels.

Moreover, according to a statement by POSDEP (Panhellenic Federation Of Faculty Associations & Research Staff), wage cuts were also made in Universities, dismissing the proclamations of the Minister of Education, Mr. Gavroglou ,at the Rectors’ Meeting on May 13th, for increases in the salaries of professors of all levels ranging from 2.5% to 7.5%. These increases, even if they had been applied, they would have been absorbed by the tax increases…

  1. Reductionof grants to municipalities and Regions

Based on Article 8OA, from January 1st 2018 the total amount to be transferred annually from the regular budget to Municipalities and Regions must not exceed € 3.4 billion. The decision is justified as follows: since the municipalities managed to draw up and implement balanced budgets, they do not need the Central Independent Resources! Therefore, it is obvious where this famous ” financial independence ” of the municipalities leads: to the gradual withdrawal of the State from funding and the transferring the cost on the citizens’ backs.

  1. Taxation of short-term tenancy of real-estate in the context of sharing economy

This particular request, which is contained in Articles 83 and 84, increases significantly the cost of Airbnb and was a requirement of the hoteliers in order to reduce the gap in prices between hotels and short-term leases from electronic platforms that made hotels unprofitable.

  1. Further use of generic medicines.

Article 88 encourages pharmacies to prescribe more and more often cheap generic medicines with the incentive of a compulsory deduction from the pharmaceutical companies if the generics exceed 25% of the medicines included in the prescriptions. This percentage may be adjusted annually, by decision of the Minister of Health. Moreover, goals incorporated into the e-prescription system may be set for every doctor, as well as penalties! As a result, pharmaceutical expenditure, will be reduced, on the benefit of the State Budget, with unknown however effect on the health of the insured.

The Scientific Committee of the Parliament has already expressed reservations about the constitutionality of the cuts in pension rights and special wages. In a lengthy report, the Committee questioned whether or not a fair balance between the requirements of the general interest, as invoked by the government, and the protection of the fundamental rights of the individual is guaranteed. Of course, SYRIZA, like all the other governments that signed a Memorandum, didn’t give a hoot …

Measures of Real Existing Liberalism

Chapter E, which is entitled “Provisions of competence of the Ministry of Justice”, describes all the details of the amendment of the Code of Civil Procedure in order to permit the beginning of electronic auctions. Government and bankers under the fear of popular reactions that culminated in the previous period, set up the institutional framework that will allow the bloodless persecution of thousands of borrowers from their houses, without publicity. The amended Article 959.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure suggestively states that “electronic auction is carried out by the certified electronic auctioneer notary, through the electronic auction systems. Electronic auctions are held on Wednesdays or Thursdays or Fridays from 10.00 to 14.00 or from 14.00 to 18.00.”

According to the provisions of the Financial Agreement there will be a tightening of the budgeting procedures. An amendment to Law 4270/2014 provides that the submission of the preliminary draft of the annual State Budget is subject to the Financial Council’s observation that it is complied with the provisions of the Financial Agreement (Article 66).

Release of the sale of Non-Prescription Drugs! Confident enough, that the sale of medicines in supermarkets will result in the increase of their prices, the Government is rushing to impose maximum prices for their purchase by the health system, so as not to burden the budget. As for the burden of the citizens, it is left to the mood of the pharmaceutical industry …

As ordered by the Domestic Troika, that is to say, of specific business interests that speak directly with the government, Article 49, provides the operation of stores on Sundays from May to October, with the exception of the second Sunday of August. In fact, paragraph 2 removes all prior restrictions on the landsize, the legal relationship with chain of stores, and so on. This measure is order of the department stores to the executives of SYRIZA and will soon lead to a redistribution of sales shares at the expense of traditional markets such as Ermou street, and to the benefit of commercial hubs such as the one nearby airport. Indeed, in the explanatory memorandum, in an impeccable neo-liberal dialect that has evolved into the native language of SYRIZA, it is directly stated that the challenge is to enhance competition… And may the stronger survive!

Another “gift” to certain private interests is also the extension of the purpose of the Claims Management Companies, which is contained in Article 48. The 4th Memorandum gives them the extra opportunity to manage real estate that has been burdened with notices of change or mortgages. This amendment passes houses and commercial roofs that were guarantee in “red loans” to the claws of the predators.

In addition, as facility to the private school owners they offer the opportunity to students participate in classes of foreign languages in private schools.

The imposition of the most primitive liberalism from SYRIZA is further accompanied by the introduction of ‘open access’ of tax authorities in taxpayers data in order to achieve the classification of risk avoidance characteristics (risk profiling) from one hand (ie “big brother state”), and on the other hand the absolute immunity of those who will achieve restructuring or write-offs in order to avoid the risk of persecution (ie “reshuffling of the cards” by people who are above the Law)! Immunity is also given to the members of the Board of Directors of EOPYY (National Agency of Health Services) and other committees, creating in fact a body of state officials – mandarins that operate beyond and above the law.

Article 39 of the new memorandum enables intervention and control by the state on the finances of the political parties. In particular, it states that “the issue of vouchers, the purchase of which is a means of financing, is permitted only if … there is a mandatory mention of the name and VAT or ID number of the buyer, if the amount of funding is more than fifty euros”.

Anti-labour measures

SYRIZA’s promise to restore collective bargaining had the same fate of the … torn Memoranda: “From 21.8.2018, the institutional framework of collective bargaining returns to the status laid down in 1876/1990 (A’27),” as mentioned in the explanatory report.

The measures to mitigate the effects of collective redundancies as advertised by SYRIZA (“amounts for coverage of self-insurance, amounts available through corporate social responsibility for training and consultancy”) are indeed contained in Article 17, with the title “Control of collective redundancies”. But these are measures that “the employer may bring into the attention of the employees”. He may, he may not! As they could do in the past, without SYRIZA’s fourth memorandum.

The opinions of the Supreme Labour Council, are not binding. The Explanatory report of the 4th Memorandum states that “the negative reasoned decision of the SLC due to the non-fulfillment of the relevant conditions is a presumption of nullity of the redundancies before the civil courts,” and nothing more. Meaning it does not have a binding character!

The bad news for collective redundancies are apparent from the very first lines of the explanatory report, which states that the proposed provision takes into consideration “the recent judgment of the EU Court, (Heracles General Cement Company -AGET Heracles- against Ministry of Labor, Social Security And Social Solidarity) C-201/15 of December 21st 2016, which amends the legislative framework for the control of collective redundancies for the purpose of harmonizing national law with EU law”. The decision was interpreted as opening a “window” in order to facilitate the dismissal of 236 workers from the factory of Chalkis, as requested by the French multinational (Lafarge, owner of AGET Heracles), introducing a more flexible interpretation of the Greek law which was clearly much more pro-labour than the European. That is why Lafarge had appealed to the European Court, challenging Greek law.

As far as the lock-out is concerned, what matters is the complaint filed by the Spokesman of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors in the Parliament on May 16th which argues that Article 20 which is contained in Part B (“Work Regulations”) of the Memorandum, brings through the back door the lock-out… which SYRIZA supposedly did not allow to be introduced! Nor the government, or the creditors and their mouthpieces did not breathe a word about this revelation. The retrograde is also confirmed by the amendment of paragraphs 1 and 2 in Article 5 of Law 1264/82, which explicitly and categorically stated that: it is prohibited to recruit strike-breakers and lock-outs are forbidden! These articles were amended. In other words, they ceased to be binding for the employers as it was until May 18th, at least at a typical level.

As regards to the trade union leaves (article 19) they set up a single framework that that uniformly regulates the paid and unpaid leaves.

Ιt is more than obvious that a government that imposes such anti-labour measures cannot be called a leftish government, but the leftovers of a failed capitalism.

Privatizations

In the 4th Memorandum it is provided the disposal “from the date of registration of the statute of the the Public Holding Company to the General Commercial Registry Service, ipso jure and without any compensation, from the State Asset Development Fund (TAIPED), to the Public Holding Company the ownership rights, rights of management and exploitation, acquired financial interests, intangible rights as well as rights of operation, maintenance and exploitation of infrastructure that had been transferred to TAIPED”. Consequently, everything is passed to the Super-fund of sell-out!

In addition, the following twelve legal entities pass immediate to the above mentioned Superfund: OASA (Athens Public Transport Organisation) and its affiliates (OSY SA and STASY SA), OSE SA (Railway Organization), OAKA (Olympic Athletic Center of Athens), ELTA (Hellenic Posts), International Airport, Greek Saltworks, ETVA INDUSTRY CORPORATE COURT, Corinth Canal SA, Central Market And Fisheries Organization, Thessaloniki Central Market, TIF – HELEXPO and Duty Free Shops.

By December 31st, 2017, 66% of DEPA’s (Public Gas Corporation) shares of DESFA’s (Management of National System of Natural Gas) share capital must be sold, through international tender carried out by TAIPED.

SYRIZA’s temperament in the sell-out of public property is accurately reflected on the table included in the Medium-Term, derived from TAIPED, which shows that in 2017 and 2018 record-breaking collections will occur! Apparently, SYRIZA does not only know to how to “sell-out” the people of the Left, but they also know how to sell-out the public wealth …

The 4th Memorandum also foresees the contraction of DEI (Greek Electricity Board) so that in 2017 its share in the retail market of the interconnected system to be limited at 75.24%, while in 2018 at 62.24% and in 2019 at 49.24%. Moreover, another crushing blow to DEI, will also be brought by the increase of the annual electricity auctioned rates in 2017 at 16%, in 2018 at 19% and in 2019 at 22%. The imposition of the contraction of DEI through administrative way, meaning using the state’s power, shows not only how hollow the liberal anti-state beliefs are, but also that the Government along with the Troika legislate in the name of private interests. Nobody doubts, that behind Article 101 there are certain individuals who are active in the energy market. It is for their sake, that the MPs of SYRIZA and ANEL betray once more the trust of the hard-pressed Greek people!

Countermeasures: sugaring the pill of surpluses

The Government attempted to sweeten the pill of the new memorandum and the bleeding of workers and pensioners by promising a package of measures -the famous countermeasures, which would be applied if and so long as they achieved a surplus of 3.5% of GDP. The countermeasures included reduction in ENFIA (Real Estate Flat Tax) for tax amounts of up to € 700, not exceeding € 70, reduction in the rate of income tax from 22% to 20%, reduction in the special solidarity levy and in corporate tax rate from 29% down to 26%.

The countermeasures also include housing allowance for up to 600,000 households, free health care for a very small proportion of the population with income less than € 1,200, childcare program, school meals, child benefit, work-related measures targeting the registered unemployed of OAED (reek Manpower Employment Organisation), reduction of pharmaceutical expenditures for taxpayers with income up to € 1,200, etc.

The problem is not on that the countermeasures will be implemented after two years. The problem is how a sine qua non for their implementation is the achievement of outrageous fiscal surpluses through the application of the above mentioned measures, as well as any others that may be necessary until the program is completed, in August 2018.

So, the countermeasures, which are tantamount to breadcrumbs and will only be implemented if and insofar the IMF agrees, work like the carrot that legitimizes the whip of reduced pensions and the lower tax-free income level.

Last but not least, one thing that is being repeated since 2010 with irritating accuracy is the inclusion in the Memorandum of a number of correct and necessary provisions. For instance, in the current Memorandum, among the many others (such as the abolition of the MPs tax-free regime with Article 71, the reduction of VAT on agricultural supplies from 24% to 13% with Article 70, the prohibition of the financing of political parties by legal entities, etc.) is the creation of an electronic register of production factors for public and private projects, studies, technical and other related scientific services. Also, the creation of an electronic healthcare procurement platform and the introduction of annual procurement programming, which if not eliminates, significantly curtails the potential of corruption posed by the decentralization of procurement on the basis of the “hospital and procurement” principle.

In my opinion, the inclusions of such measures of urban modernization by all the Memorandum Governments PASOK, ND, and SYRIZA and their Health Ministers (Loverdos, Adonis, Polakis) is an attempt to embellish the Memorandums themselves and deconstruct those who blame them as a cause of social regression. In fact, all together (PASOK, ND, SYRIZA) prove their inability to manage the commons without having Troika over their head, dictating them even how the medicines supplies will take place.

For this (extra) reason they are dangerous and the quicker they get off the power the better…

 

Greece: Back to the Future of Austerity and Debtocracy!

 

The SYRIZA-ANEL made a deal with the creditors, signed in May 2, that was met with a great deal of enthusiasm from the markets. It is an agreement that will increase poverty and over-indebtedness in Greece, and will deal a blow to the country’s sovereign rights.

by Leonidas Vatikiotis & Aris Chatzistefanou

The staff level agreement which will be Eurogroup’s green light for the disbursement of the 7 billion tranche “necessary to meet debt repayments which include 2 bn. euros to private creditors due on July 17, and 3,9 bn. euros to the ECB three days later” (Financial Times, May 12), includes:

  1. Reduction of the tax-free limit from 8.636 euros to 5.681. A measure that will affect the poorest employees and pensioners, since even those who are paid 474 euros per month will be taxed.
  2. Average pension cuts of 9%, which may reach 18%, for pensions over 1000 euros. From these two measures, pensioners will lose 2 out of 12 pensions each year.
  3. Reduction of unemployment benefits (which today are received by merely 12% of the unemployed), poverty, child and natural disaster benefits. Those affected will be the poorest habitants of the country.
  4. Retail shops opening for 32 Sundays. A measure which Finance Minister P. Papadimitriou described as “modernizing” effectively equating modernization with neo-liberal deregulation of the working relations and making clear that SYRIZA has transformed completely. Against the implementation of this measure, the Trade Union and the Confederation of Small and Medium Size Businesses have already announced a strike.
  5. Collective dismissals are made easier by abolishing the requirement of ministerial decisions and vetoes for dismissing more than 5% of the total staff. A system of early warning by the employers will be enough.
  6. A reduction in the numbers of contract workers of the public sector from 49.448 on December 2016 to 49.104 at December 2017 and 48.420 at December 2019. This will result in the further dissolution of the public services.
  7. Privatization of 40% of the lignite units belonging to the Public Power Company and 17% of its shares. The sellout of energy will be the final blow to the public wealth by SYRIZA that broke its pre-electional promises after the sale of 14 airports to the German Fraport, of trains to the Italian Ferrovie and Piraeus port to the Chinese firm Cosco.

 

The 7 measures above are only a small part of the total 140 measures that the Greek Parliament members have to vote by fast track procedures like it regularly happens since 2010, when the country first entered the memorandum regime. As a result the ministers don’t even have enough time to go read through the memorandum laws that are always voted during the last moment. All in the name of the state of emergency that has already been around for 7 years, as long as the Coup of the Colonels lasted from 1967 to 1974.

However there is a fundamental difference. The measures that will be voted by the Greek Parliament will be applied at 2019-2020. By then another government will be in power, since the service of the current government, which was elected in 2015, ends at 2019. Also, the 3rd economic adjustment program of 86 billion dollars that was signed in August 2015 (by a government ordered to cancel the austerity and tear up the memorandum) ends at September 2018.

Therefore, neither the creditors (EU, IMF) had the jurisdiction to demand such measures, nor the government alliance of SYRIZA and the far right ANEL had the legitimation to impose them. It is unacceptable for a government to tie the next government with its decisions.

The government attempts to prettify the situation using two arguments: The first is the acceleration of the relief of sovereign debt. The government however has already signed the exclusion of a debt write-off, limiting the possible solutions to a new grace period, debt repayment lengthening and lower interest rates. As a result, debt-wise, the IMF appears to be more radical than the Left and the Far Right government.

Greek public debt reached 176% of the GDP after the 2012 restructuring, from 115% in 2009, before the arrival of Troika.

The government’s second argument is about relief measures that will be implemented in case the surplus surpasses 3,7% of the GDP. There will be spending for school meals (just so the kids won’t faint at schools), tax reliefs and so on, from the money gathered beyond the 3,7% of the GDP as a reward.

Until then however extreme poverty that affects 13,3% of the population will reach record levels. Recession will continue to shut out any possibility of unemployment reduction from 23% which is the highest in Europe. Under these conditions, the demand for immediate cessation of payments and unilateral debt write off, returns urgently. The government which has recently been congratulated by Pierre Moscovici for imposing 200 reforms against its people, surpassing any previous government, must use the report of the Debt Truth Committee, which described the public debt as odious and illegal to denounce the loan agreements and proceed to a rupture with the creditors: ECB, EU, IMF.

In this fight the people of Europe stand on our side because they know that more than 90% of the rescue loans return to the creditors. We loan to save Deutsche Bank, BNP, Paribas, ABN AMRO and the Greek zombie banks until they were bought by the vulture fund of Paulson.

Any other compromise policy will perpetuate poverty and the abolition of sovereign rights, as it keeps on happening since 2010.