'Default the only solution for the Greek debt crisis'
The Greek debt crisis erupted in 2009 and the economy is still struggling to generate growth and reduce high levels of unemployment. Long-term unemployment in Greece will reach almost 27 percent in 2015, according to an OECD report published on Wednesday. Greece has also seen one of the biggest drops in real wages since the beginning of the crisis, the OECD data shows.
RT:Greece's debt ratio is much higher that before the crisis began. What is the situation in the country at the moment and how do citizens deal with the crisis?
Aris Chatzistefanou: Greece has become the best example of a country that was invaded by financial institutions of the Central European countries mainly Germany and France. And what they managed to do by imposing strict austerity measures for almost five years now was to increase the debt, not only as a percentage of GDP but also as an absolute value. So in 2009 we started with a debt of 115 percent of GDP and right now just a few days ago we learned that our debt had skyrocketed to 175 percent of GDP. So it was a nightmare for the Greek people who were bailing out banks from France and Germany while at the same time they were the victims of the huge social genocide. Just to let you know, that in that so-called salvation period, we have lost almost 25 percent of GDP. And if you ask any historian he will tell you that there is no precedent in time of peace that a country can lose 25 percent. We are now the champions of unemployment with 30 percent and almost 60 percent for the younger people. The average family has lost almost 35 percent of its purchasing power. It is a real nightmare for the people in Greece.
RT:Is there any possibility of default in Greece in the current situation?
AC: It is highly possible because it is impossible for Greece to repay these debts. As long as they talk about haircuts and renegotiating the debt the problem remains, and that might be a cause for a domino effect in the eurozone. In my opinion default at the moment is the only solution for the debt crisis in Greece. We have seen positive examples in other parts of Europe like Iceland, even Russia, or in Latin America with Ecuador and Argentina where even when they had some problems it was a success story in comparison with what happened in Greece.
RT:In your opinion, who is in the control of the EU policy? What are their actual goals?
AC: The European Union is working, I believe under the command of Berlin then the German Minister of Finance and Angela Merkel. What they are trying to do is to increase their capacity of controlling other parts of Europe and imposing their neo-liberal agenda which means fire-saling public property and redistributing wealth from the people to the economic elite of one percent, not only inside the country, but from the European periphery to the center, to the core of the European Union. That is what they did during the last decade with Greece, now they are trying to control other parts outside the European Union.
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