Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) attacked the International Monetary Fund and European authorities on Wednesday (July 1) for imposing what he called excessive austerity measures on Greece in negotiations over the country’s debt payments.
“It is unacceptable that the International Monetary Fund and European policymakers have refused to work with the Greek government on a sensible plan to improve its economy and pay back its debt,” Sanders said in an exclusive statement to The Huffington Post. “At a time of grotesque wealth inequality, the pensions of the people in Greece should not be cut even further to pay back some of the largest banks and wealthiest financiers in the world.”
Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and veteran progressive lawmaker, called the loans-for-austerity policies that the IMF and eurozone nations have imposed on Greece an “abysmal failure,” and demanded that the United States and other world powers grant Greece new debt-repayment terms that would allow its economy to recover from the damage it has sustained since 2008.
Read the entire post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/bernie-sanders-greece_n_7709322.html?1435798531
It was estimated that over the last weekend thousands of workers were laid off or suspended until the political and economic situation of the country clears up. “We estimate that approximately 40,000 people have departed in the last days, as many construction sites have closed down, leading to layoffs and suspensions,” noted Zacharias Athoussakis, Chairman of SATE, an organization that represents medium and large engineering companies. At this point, it is certain that many of these jobs have been permanently lost, even if the construction sites reopen. – See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/07/07/40000-greek-workers-fired-or-suspended/#sthash.BDQar4sA.dpuf
Ed note. The austerity policies being imposed upon Greece are a full fledged attack on Greek unions. Similar policies imposed upon Spain, Italy and Portugal also attack unions in these countries. The Greek people ( or the government) have been defeated by the bankers, mostly German and French. They have starved the people, reduced the aged to poverty, cut the health system by 50% so people are dying.
Read background pieces here.
Also see posts on Global Labour Start.
The ITUC urgently calls on the creditor institutions formerly known as “the Troika” – International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, European Commission – to unblock support for the Greek banking system, carry out disbursements on previously agreed loans and engage in serious negotiations with the government for reducing Greece’s unsustainable debt burden.
ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow stated: “The Greek people have clearly understood something that the creditor institutions apparently have not: that intensifying the Troika-imposed austerity policies of the past five years will only prolong the depression. The institutions must end their demands for further cuts in pensions and public services and continued destruction of labour market institutions in return for payments on loans they already approved. Instead, they should support a pro-growth investment and jobs programme in Greece.” July 5, 2015.
Filed under: Economy, Global organizing, Solidarity Tagged: | austerity, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank, Greece, Greek government-debt crisis, International Monetary Fund, Politics of Greece, United States