Anyone who follows the goings on of political economy in Europe a bit clearly sees that austerity is a disaster for Greece (and Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy soon to come): ~25% unemployment, ~50% youth unemployment, falling salaries for the public employees who haven’t been fired yet, falling pensions, a dash for privatization that will hit the poor some more. It’s so bad, in fact, that even the cheerleaders of austerity and neo-liberalism at the Spiegel have noticed:
And the burden of the cuts will be borne, once again, by those who already have little left to lose: workers and retirees, the sick and the disabled.
This doesn’t stop them from pushing for “reforms” though that Greece supposedly has been tardy implementing. Instead, they worry about the “experts” that are pushing the neo-liberal agenda:
…it is not even clear how the foreign experts sent to assist the government with its reforms will be paid in the future.
Those poor, highly paid tools of the “troika” – the IMF, ECB and the EC – how will they be paid while normal Greeks see their livelihood destroyed? Even Greek politicians seem to understand that those experts’ demands are toxic:
The recent standoff in Athens between Poul Thomsen, chief envoy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras was, by all accounts, rather heated. Stournaras even threatened to resign rather than implement the cuts Thomsen was calling for, reported the New York Times.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” the IMF envoy allegedly replied, and then left.
but this doesn’t faze the cheerleaders and Greeks’ trust in those politicians is eroded anyway:
…Greeks don’t trust them anyway. According to a recent survey, 79 percent of Greeks are dissatisfied with the job their government is doing.
The cynical title of this piece? “Europe Intent on Saving Greece Despite Lag in Reforms”
There’s a phrase in German: “Operation gelungen, Patient tot.” which translates roughly into: “Surgery successful, patient dead.” If this is “saving Greece” then the Greek population might be much better off if the troika gave up on trying to “save” them.