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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 20 - Balance of accounts with the ECB

The ECB refused to participate in the 2012 debt restructuring and did not agree to the €56.5 billion of Greek securities it held being exchanged for securities with a face value reduced by 53%.

Since then, it has demanded repayment of securities it bought below their value between May 2010 and February 2012 at 100% of their value when they reach maturity. This is how between 2012 and 2018, Greek authorities paid about €43 billion in stock to the ECB and Eurozone central banks, to which we must add interest that may amount to 12 billion or more. In addition to which some €13 billion still have to be paid, related to securities bought in the context of the 2010-2012 SMP programme. To those 13 billion we have to add pending interests.

The said securities are to be repaid at specific dates (see the Wall Street Journal Web site: “Greece’s Debt Due”). The schedule of repayment to the ECB runs from 2019 to 2037. On the schedule reproduced by the Wall Street Journal we can see, for instance, that Greece will have to pay the ECB €3.75 billion on 19 July 2019 at an interest rate of 6% and on 22 October 2019 it will have to pay €2 billion at a rate of 6.5%.

Let us keep in mind that Greece redeems at 100% securities that the ECB bought at around 75% of their value between 2010 and 2012, and that the value of those securities should have been reduced by 53% if the ECB had agreed to contribute to the 2012 restructuring.

Of course if the ECB resumes its buying of Greek securities from private banks, new repayments will have to be added.

It was not enough for the ECB to dramatically deteriorate the Greek people’s living conditions; it shamelessly accumulated odious profits stolen from the Greek people.

We must also remember that the ECB remits to the Eurozone member states part of the profits robbed from the Greek population and that this money feeds the budgets of countries such as Germany, France and Belgium.

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