The Troika’s Policy in Greece: Rob the Greek people and give the money to private banks, the ECB, the IMF and the dominant States of the Eurozone
On 20 August 2018, the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras, the IMF and the European leaders celebrated the end of the Third Memorandum.
On this occasion, the major media and those in power spread the following message: Greece has regained its freedom, its economy is improving, unemployment is on the decline, Europe has lent Greece 300 billion and the Greeks will have to start repaying that debt in 2022 or in 2032.
The main claims are completely unfounded as Greece remains under the control of its creditors. In compliance with the accords that the Alexis Tsipras government signed, the country must imperatively achieve a primary budgetary surplus of 3.5% which will force it to continue brutal policies of reduction of public spending in the social sector and in investment. Contrary to the dominant message that Greece will not begin to repay its debt until some time in the future, it should be clearly understood that Greece has been repaying considerable amounts constantly all along to the ECB, the IMF and to private creditors, and this prevents it from responding to the needs of its population.
by Eric Toussaint
Part 8 - The doctored statistics helped to vindicate the Troika’s intervention
The Preliminary Report of the Truth Committee on Greece’s Debt as made public at the Greek Parliament in June 2015 irrefutably showed that Papandreou, the senior executives in the Greek Institute for Statistics and the European leaders had fabricated a misleading version of the Greek crisis so as to blame public expenditure and exonerate the Greek and foreign private banks (that had tried to maximize their profits by using to the hilt all the possibilities that had opened with Greece entering the Eurozone).
As reported in an article in the French daily Le Monde (from an AFP release): “In 2009, the revelation by Socialist PM George Papandreou that the Greek public deficit actually amounted to 12.7% of the GDP, and not 6%, as claimed by his conservative predecessor, had hurled the country into a financial whirlwind.”
Statistics on the public debt and on the extent of the public deficit were doctored so as to vindicate the ensuing austerity measures, the Troika’s intervention and the signature of the first Memorandum of Agreement (see Chapter II of the Report, p. 17 http://www.cadtm.org/IMG/pdf/Report.pdf).
On 9 June 2018, the Greek Supreme Court ratified the sentencing of Andreas Georgiou, head of the Greek Statistics Agency ELSTAT from August 2010 to August 2015, to two years’ suspended imprisonment for the offence of failing to fulfil his obligations as President of ELSTAT.
We can also read in Le Monde: “This former member of the International Monetary Fund was suspected of having reached an official agreement with Eurostat (the European Statistics Agency, which is dependent on the Commission) in order to increase Greece’s deficit and debt figures for the year 2009. It is assumed that the objective was to facilitate the financial supervision of the country, with the launch, in 2010, of the first international aid plan for Greece (…)”.
The responsibility of European leaders in those manipulations is evidenced by the many ways in which they attempted to prevent the Greek justice system from sentencing Andreas Georgiou. As mentioned in Le Monde: in 2016, Andreas Georgiou had been publicly defended by Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Social Affairs, who claimed that the data on the Greek debt from 2010 to 2015 were timely and reliable. Over the last three years there have been dozens of statements by European leaders and senior officials at their service putting pressure on the Greek judiciary to close the case.
In fact, Andreas Georgiou was the direct accomplice of European leaders, Papandreou, the IMF, foreign bankers and their Greek counterparts. It does not take a conspiracy theorist to find that in this case there was a Machiavellian conspiracy.
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