Greece and reforms: more déja-vu

Greece is entering the third review of the current “bailout” program. Although this is expected to last until the end of the year, we have begun to see Greece on the news again, with voices urging the Government to complete the process on time. These voices have been heard before.

This review includes reforms in a number of sectors, from energy to the labor market and social benefits. Let’s be clear: “reform” is a synonym of “destabilization” and “austerity.” And “review” is a synonym for forcing the Greek Government to take all the consequential necessary actions. All these take place while the Greek economy is shrinking and is bound to extremely high primary surpluses and billions of debt to be repaid in the next years and decades.

Even if Greece finds its way out of the current program in summer 2018, it will still remain under very strict troika supervision until it repays 75% of its debt. During these years, austerity, widespread and on-the-cheap privatizations and exacerbated inequalities will continue to flourish. The non-upper classes will have to keep finding the money to pay very high taxes to support the economy. Any news of growth and recovery is and will continue to be just ‘fake news’.

For these reasons, we reject the strategy of behaving like an exemplary prisoner (Greece’s approach since the beginning of the crisis, except the first half of 2015) and call for disobedience, constructive disobedience, with the immediate implementation of our proposals for Greece as part of our European New Deal.

 

 

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