The looting of the Greek working class

From World Socialist Web Site:

Peter Schwarz
10 February 2012

The attacks on the Greek population have assumed monstrous proportions. The “Troika” of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank is demanding no less than the complete ruination of the Greek working class.

The austerity measures already introduced have led to an unparalleled social decline. One in five adults and one in two young people in Greece are unemployed. Homelessness, which was hardly known in Athens before the crisis, has become widespread. Tens of thousands of small businesses have gone bankrupt due to drastic tax increases.

The wealthy elite are hardly affected by the austerity measures, however. According to Handelsblatt, they have deposited €560 billion in foreign accounts, a sum nearly twice as large as Greece’s entire national debt.

For the Troika and the banks behind it, all this austerity is not enough. As a precondition for the disbursement of the second rescue package agreed last summer, they are demanding budget cuts of €3.3 billion for this year alone—and all at the expense of the working class.

Health spending is to be cut by €1.1 billion, 15,000 state employees will be sacked in the coming year, and 150,000 are to be made redundant over the next four years. The federal minimum wage, upon which 300,000 people depend, is to be reduced from €750 to €600, and unemployment benefits from €460 to €360 a month. Supplementary pensions, which many Greeks depend upon for their survival, will be cut by 15 percent.

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