The financial situation in Greece is getting worse everyday. For the time being, it is impossible for the country to borrow from the financial markets. The rate of interest for the Greek 10 years bonds is 10,55% (18,50% for the 2 years bonds). In reality nobody wants to lend Greece.
The government tries to speed up the process of the EU-IMF aid. If they don’t get the money until May 18, the state will be obliged to suspend payments. Nevertheless, the terms imposed by Germany and IMF for the loan will cause a real social disaster. Our European “partners” demand: 15% reduction in salaries both in private and public sector, increase of the age limit before retirement to 67 years, decrease of the pensions, thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of job cuts in the public sector, abolition of collective labour agreements between trade unions and employers, abolition of any legal restriction in job-cuts in the private sector, cuts in public expenditure (it is already announced that next year the pupils in every class will go from 25 to more than 30). As you understand this is the worst possible IMF plan.
But it is highly possible that the situation will finally get out of control even with this catastrophic plan. Many people compare the situation with that of Argentina. First of all, there is a wave of money withdrawal of the banks. Rich and middle class people are afraid that the Germans will kick Greece out of the euro-zone. They are trying to save their Euros by transferring them to Cyprus or by making real-estate investments in London (some just keep the at home…). In addition to that, as the time goes by, it seems impossible that Greece will be able to pay its debt event with the IMF aid. It is said that among the five next GNP, the one should be used to pay the public debt.
In conclusion, Greece is in front of the abyss.
*On May 5, there will be a general strike in Greece. It would be a good idea for the European movements to make of this day a day of solidarity to the Greek people and international resistance to the IMF-EU neoliberal policies.*
P.S. When I started to write this note at 11:00 the rate of interest it was 10,58. Now it is 11:25 and the rate is 10,85%…
Yannis Almpanis (member of the Network for Political and Social Rights)