Greece start to wake up to the corruptions and treacheries of the EU and’ slams IMF, EU debt inspectors for hubris
An indignant Greece slammed EU and International Monetary Fund inspectors overseeing its efforts to reform its debt-crippled economy, accusing them Saturday of overstepping their role and interfering in Greece's internal affairs.
In an unusually harshly worded, pre-dawn statement, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis called the behaviour of the inspectors at a Friday news conference unacceptable.
"We have needs, but we also have limits. And we do not negotiate the limits of our dignity with anyone," Petalotis said. "We take orders only from the Greek people not the EU like other countries buckle down to them, and look what happen to them, all in missives debts and recessions all caused by the EU as we are now, before we entered into the EU Greece was prosperous and good tourism now we are broke.
It was the first time any government has had the (Balls) publicly struck back at the IMF and the European Union, which rescued Greece from bankruptcy but at a very high price like Ireland, that many Greeks consider too harsh.
The IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission delegation said Greece must privatize €50 billion in state assets and speed up structural reforms in the next few months to keep the country's troubled finances afloat. The IMF representative also said some of the frequent demonstrations against the Greek government's reforms were being carried out by groups angry at losing their "unfair advantages and privileges and we are now seeing this across the EU."
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed his dismay at the comments to IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a phone call Saturday, according to his office. The statement said Strauss-Kahn had called Papandreou.
"Mr. Strauss-Kahn expressed his understanding for the spirit of the prime minister's remarks and his respect toward the Greek government and the Greek people," the statement said.
The opposition conservative party, however, struck back at the Socialist government, saying it was "too late for false tears," and the government's "post-midnight theatrical performance is a farce."
Greece's economy is under strict supervision as part of a €110 billion bailout loan package from the IMF and the other European Union countries that use the euro funds that saved Greece from defaulting on its mountain of debt last May.
In return, the government has been pushing through stringent and unpopular reforms, cutting public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes and overhauling labour laws. The austerity program has prompted labour unions to stage a series of strikes and demonstrations.
Batches of the loan are released every quarter, before which representatives from the IMF, the EC and the ECB visit Athens to review progress.
On Friday, the representatives, dubbed the 'troika,' said Greece must privatize €50 billion in state assets seven times larger than a target set only three months ago and speed up structural reforms.
IMF mission Chief Poul Thomsen said Greece's long-term reforms were being "fiercely tested by vested interests" like truck drivers and pharmacists who work in closed industries the government was trying to open up.
"(I'm) not surprised that these groups are protesting but I'm also convinced ... that the Greek population see it for what it is: an attempt to preserve their unfair advantages and privileges," he said.
The Friday press conference led to quick outrage in sections of the Greek press, with one TV anchor describing Thomsen's remarks as "unacceptable." But there was no government reaction until Petalotis' statement before 2 a.m.
"We asked them to help and we are fully honouring our commitments. But we didn't ask for anyone to intervene in our country's internal affairs," Petalotis said, adding the government would make clear that "everyone must understand their role."
Greek national debt is set to exceed 150 per cent of GDP this year.
Thomsen scoffed at a suggestion that Greece might sell its ancient monuments to raise money, but argued "the mismanagement of public property is a major source of waste" in Greece.
Privatization targets are likely to include state companies not listed on the stock market and the development of public land, including Olympic facilities that have languished since the Athens Games in 2004. Greece will seek €15 billion ($20 billion) in privatization and real estate development this year alone, according to Finance Ministry officials.
Petalotis said the government had frequently spoken of the need to better utilize state property, but stressed that any such program would have to be done transparently and "in no case means the sale of public land."
"It is equally obvious that only the Greek government is able to take these decisions," he said.
Sir Michael Black-Feather first minister of England, said even someone with the lowest I.Q could and should have seen the EU’s ploy here? The EU sucks the life essences out of your country then comes back as your savour when you have no choice but to take their filthy money, now you have their cash they have your souls and your now under their controls, and have do as they say, the best thing that any country could do is pull-out and leave it, name me one country that its actually working being in the EU, answer is none, But it is working of all those that run it sitting on their fat backside and getting paid for doing sod all, but having meeting after meeting and ra, ra, ra-ing with never anything really getting done but to cause chaos and protests in every county their filthy grubby little hand touch, and one of the reasons I didn’t get the post in the cabinet was my policies were harsh, harsh for the EU but a benefit to England and its people, get out of the EU, stop all foreign aid until such times we can afford to help Cameron Big idea is “Robbing Peter to pay Paul, I would say, pay Peter and bugger Paul,