‘We condemn Greece to misery and poverty to keep Standard & Poor’s off our backs. But we have miscalculated.’
Photograph: Argyropoulos/Sipa/Rex Features
The behaviour of the EU states towards Greece is inexplicable in the terms in which the EU defines itself. It is, first and foremost, a failure of solidarity.
The «austerity package», as the newspapers like to call it, seeks to impose on Greece terms that no people can accept. Even now the schools are running out of books. There were 40% cuts in the public health budget in 2010 – I can’t find the present figure. Greece’s EU «partners» are demanding a 32% cut Συνέχεια →
In a short BBC interview today, I argued that the media’s witch hunt against Greece perpetuates a false impression that the Greeks themselves are to blame.
With special thanks to Naveena Kottoor, I was able to appear on BBC World Have Your Say today, for a brief segment on the international media’s coverage of the Greek debt crisis.
Asked whether I agreed that the international media are engaged in a ‘witch hunt’ against the Greek people, I pointed out that all talk about the Greeks being profligate, lazy and spoilt is simply not true (video below, my contribution from 34m50s onwards — somehow the audio got messed up):
Unfortunately, however, I didn’t get the time to back up these assertions with hard facts — so I would like this to use the opportunity to do so here.
THE FIGURES disclosed by the Hellenic Statistical Authority last month show the complete failure of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescription for Greece, resulting in a rapid increase in inflation, but also a reduction in the revenues.
So, annual inflation in July rose to 5.5 percent from 5.2 percent in June 2010 and 0.6 percent in July 2009, now returning to 1997 levels! In addition, state revenues in July decreased by 10 percent overall and Value-Added Tax (VAT) returns by 5 percent, despite the fact that all indirect taxes have increased.
It has now become evident to the government and the IMF Συνέχεια →