Wednesday October 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Troika takes flak from EU lawmakers over crisis conditions

EU lawmakers put the Troika under the microscope this week, wanting to know how and why the trio of international creditors imposed eurozone debt bailouts at such high cost to the ordinary public.

Transparency, accountability, why were forecasts missed and more austerity imposed when unemployment was soaring, European Parliament deputies asked at a series of sometimes testy hearings with top Troika officials.

"For many people in Europe, the Troikas measures were imposed by outsiders ... that is why there needs to be more transparency,» said Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat head of Parliament.

The Troika of the European Commission, the EUs executive arm plus the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund came together in 2010 to run a first bailout for Greece.

In exchange for about 110 billion euros ($150 billion) in aid, Athens had to accept radical spending cuts, tax hikes and reforms which stoked record unemployment and growing social upheaval.

Worse still, the measures failed -- the Troika had to arrange another more costly, more stringent rescue in 2011 which brought down one government and sparked huge anti-austerity demonstrations.

Today, Greece appears to have scraped through the crisis but at the price of an unemployment rate of more than 27 percent and a lost under-25 generation of which more than half cannot find a job.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras last week chided the «maximalist approach» of the Troika and warned that Greece country do no more.

For EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, a key figure in the debt bailouts for Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus, the Troika proposed measures but it was ultimately up to governments to choose and implement them.

As for forecasts and estimates falling short, Rehn told Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee that that was to be expected in such turbulent times when the eurozones future was at stake. The events had shown «the limits of economics,» he said.

"The Troika does not impose (measures); the decisions are made with the countries concerned,» said Klaus Regling, head of the European Stability Mechanism, the eurozones rescue fund set up at the height of the crisis.

Fench Socialist MEP Liem Hoang-Ngoc charged the Troika with being accountable to no-one even as it took decisions affecting the daily lives of millions.

"We do not know how its decisions are taken,» Liem said.

"Who decides that wages in Greece must be cut? Do you know? Did Parliament decide that?"

Former ECB Jean-Claude Trichet, who stepped down in November 2011, argued that in unprecedented circumstances, the Troika had done its best.

Without the bold action taken, the situation could have been much worse, perhaps a repetition of the disastrous Great Depression of the 1930s, Trichet said.

The key problem was governance -- many member states had ignored the EUs economic rules and so ran into growing debt and deficit problems which blew up with the global financial crisis in 2008.

"The governance issue is absolutely fundamental,» he said.

Now with the rules tightened up to prevent any repetition of the crisis, Trichet said he hoped «the concept of the Troika will gradually disappear."

MEPs concede that there were exceptional circumstances during the debt crisis but insisted this did not excuse the Troika.

A Parliament summary after Regling's session on Wednesday said that MEPs wanted to know «if other, better designed options could have been envisaged."

The need to «minimise negative social consequences and ensure national ownership of remedial measures should have been higher on the decision makers' agenda,» it said.

The Troika in practice had «in effect become an enforcer of reforms» since bailed-out governments «had no room to deviate from (its) advice,» the summary said.

[AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 16, 2014 (17:57)  
Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
Parties at odds over university ID checks
At Defense Ministry, Tsipras assures policy continuity
Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
Analysts, investment banks and institutional investors appear optimistic regarding the results of the European Central Bank stress tests on local lenders, which has been mirrored in the perf...
Certainty on primary surplus target
The state budget’s primary surplus beat expectations by almost a billion euros in the first nine months of the year, General Accounting Office data confirmed on Tuesday, but tax revenues and...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The ECB collateral for Greece must be lowered to 5 pct
According to recent reports, the European Central Bank plans to reduce the “57 percent penalty,” that is the discount applied to almost all Greek government bonds (GGBs) held as collateral b...
INTERVIEW
The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
For a decade, until mid-2012, Josef Ackermann was the CEO at Deutsche Bank. It was a position that earned him the nickname “shadow chancellor” of Germany and allowed him to play a decisive r...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
2. Certainty on primary surplus target
3. Feverish talks on payment plan proposals
4. TUI promises even more tourists
5. Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
6. Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
more news
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Gang importing heroin into Greece busted
3. Greece said to seek tailor-made plan for bailout exit
4. Self-opposing coalition
5. Gutsy rectors
6. Applications for heating oil subsidy set to start
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
4. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.