New year, new European threats to Greece. This time from German lawmaker, Michael Fuchs, who for some strange reason thinks that the 8 years of crippling austerity forced upon Greece was in fact a clever way for Greece to blackmail EU member states.
In Mr. Fuchs’ (no pun intended) mind, the German induced, hallowing out of the Greek economy, was all part of the Greek master plan to blackmail Europe into forgiving the loans that lead to the country’s hallowing out in the first place.
We know it all makes no sense, but at the end of the day the fact remains that Greece finally has a chance to regain its sovereignty and just needs to pull the trigger, and end its suffering at the hand of EU paymaster.
Via Yahoo News:
Michael Fuchs, deputy parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, suggested the idea of Greece breaching its commitments to creditors and eventually leaving the single currency bloc was no longer a doomsday scenario.
“The situation is entirely different than three years ago,” Fuchs told the Rheinische Post daily.
“The times when we had to rescue Greece are over. There is no potential for blackmail anymore. Greece is no longer of systemic relevance for the euro.”
He stressed that “if Alexis Tsipras of the Greek leftist party Syriza believes he can roll back the reform efforts and savings measures of Greece, then the troika will also have to roll back the loans for Greece”.
Syriza, currently the front-runner in polls, has pledged to unwind many of the reforms imposed by the so-called “troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank — by cutting taxes and increasing state aid and public services.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned Tuesday that the financially-stricken nation may be forced out of the eurozone if the election is won by Syriza.
The European Union has renewed its calls on Greeks to stick by the often painful reforms adopted as part of a massive international bailout for the eurozone member state.
2010-2013: 7.500 more dead and 20.600 less births. Genocide in Greece thanks to troika. Berlin is proud of its Nazi methods against Greek.
— Δημήτρης Καζάκης (@Dimitriskazaki) January 1, 2015
If Europe, and specifically Germany, is not worried about Greece pulling out of the Eurozone, then why all the fuss and threats? Let Greece leave, forgive the loans and let’s all move on. Nothing to worry about according to Mr. Fuchs.
One thing is certain, the last 8 years have been brutal for Greek citizens, who need to put the Euro and Brussels’ oligarchs in the rearview mirror.
Syriza, capitalizing on a wave of public discontent with harsh austerity measures that Athens was forced to accept in return for a 240 billion euro bailout, has grabbed a 3 percent lead on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ right-wing New Democracy.
Spending cuts in Greece are responsible for some 500 male suicides, according to an April study entitled “The Impact of Fiscal Austerity on Suicide: On the Empirics of a Modern Greek Tragedy,” which was published in the Social Science and Medicine journal.
“Suicide rates in Greece (and other European countries) have been on a remarkable upward trend following the global recession of 2008 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2009,” states the study’s abstract.
Each percentage point decrease in government spending resulted in a 0.43 percent rise in suicides among men, it revealed. Between 2009 and 2010, there were 551 deaths that occurred “solely because of fiscal austerity,” the study found.
At the same time, employee salaries were slashed after February 2012 by 22 percent for workers over the age of 25, and a staggering 32 percent for those under 25, according to a separate report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Meanwhile, doctors were forced to refuse to treat patients and delay operations due to cuts to the health service.
Syriza, an EU-skeptic party, has witnessed a surge in popularity after pledging to cancel at least half of the bailout loan, which it says places Greece in a “debtors’ prison” to the EU and financial institutions
At the same time, however, the troika of lenders has demanded that Greece adhere to the agreed austerity program to qualify for any future bailouts – precisely what the party wants the country to avoid.
PM Samaras rattled markets Tuesday when he warned that Greece may be forced to exit the eurozone if Syriza emerges victorious in the elections.
Hans-Werner Sinn, head of Germany’s Ifo economic research institute, said a Greek exit from the euro zone remained a possibility.
“Further debt cuts will be needed again and again, unless the country is released from the euro zone and allowed to regain its competitiveness by devaluation,” Sinn told the German daily Tagesspiegel.
On Monday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble put the issue more bluntly when he said the cash-strapped EU member has “no alternative” but to adhere to the reform measures it agreed to in return for the unpopular rescue package.
Despite its tough warnings, the IMF admitted in its 2013 Ex Post Evaluation to mistakes in its handling of the Greek crisis, for example, acknowledging that “little progress was made in checking tax evasion by high income earners,” while average citizens were left holding the bill for the massive bailout.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.