Greek FM slams damning budget report
The Greek finance minister has criticized a report on the economy which said Greece was likely to miss its budget targets this year due to months of delays in implementing austerity measures and a deeper than expected recession.
Evangelos Venizelos issued a statement on Thursday saying that the newly-created parliamentary panel which issued the document lacked the “knowledge, experience and responsibility” needed to compile reports on macroeconomic and fiscal prospects.A financial report issued late on Wednesday by Greece’s special budget monitoring committee has warned the country’s parliament that its enormous debt is now out of control. Facing a ruinous recession, the country simply cannot keep up with interest payments on its near half-trillion dollar debt. Politician and economist Petr Mach told RT that a key factor in the problems facing Greece is the Euro, arguing that it is economic nonsense to share a currency and not to share a fiscal policy, with a Greek departure from the Eurozone highly likely.“Sharing fiscal policy, having one single ministry of finance is impossible at the EU, that is something no-one wishes,” he declared. “So that is the equation that has no other solution than enabling some countries to leave the Eurozone.”
James Meadway, a senior economist at the New Economics Foundation, argues the report reveals the true state of the Greek economy.“Greece cannot plausibly repay its debt under current circumstances,”he stated. “The growth isn’t there, the debt is far too big, and there is simply no way it will be able to repay this debt – certainly not by 2012, which was the original hope of the other European nations.”Meadway told RT that this bailout is not really about helping the Greek economy, and most certainly not about the people of Greece, who have suffered under austerity measures for 18 months. “The most dreadful kind [of austerity measures]: huge cuts in public spending, in services, in people’s wages, rising unemployment and no real prospects for the future,”he declared.
Meanwhile, EU leaders continue to bicker over a second rescue package for Greece worth 213 billion euro, with Finland demanding collateral in return for its participation.