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Tsipras Says Samaras Continues IMF Mistake

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SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras actually isn’t happy

Greece’s major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras has lambasted Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras for staying with austerity measures ordered by international lenders even though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admitted it made a huge error in underestimating how devastating the effect would be.

Greece is relying on bailouts from the Troika of the European Union, IMF, and European Central Bank to keep its economy afloat, but pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions have created a record 26.8 percent unemployment rate, closed 68,000 businesses, put 1.3 million people out of work and pushed 20 percent of the population poverty, while politicians, the rich and major  tax evaders have escaped with impunity.

Despite the IMF’s mea culpa, Samaras has said almost nothing apart from that he has corrected its mistakes and has created a “success story” out of Greece, leading it to recovery and that it may return to international markets next year, even though the country’s statistical agency ELSTAT just released a finding that the economy shrank 5.6 percent in the first quarter of the year.

“We don’t expect a real (change). The Troika admits making a mistake, and at the same time advocates the implementation of that mistake,” Tsipras said, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of European anti-austerity groups in Athens. “Although (Greece’s) lenders admit the program’s flaws, the premier’s insistence on implementing the catastrophic memorandum shows that he is out of touch with reality,” the anti-bailout party said in a statement.

It added that the IMF admission was a “vindication for SYRIZA,” which opposes the austerity measures, as did Samaras, until he got into power in a brief coalition government last year and then was elected, changing his mind to support the conditions he had criticized. “Samaras’s talk of ‘success story’ has become the briefest joke,” the party said.

Tsipras also told the Associated Press that bailout lenders and Greece’s conservative government would not end the country’s “ongoing drama” because they want to save face as much as possible. He made his remarks ahead of a visit of Troika envoys this week who are going to review progress on the reforms that the IMF said failed but which it and the EU and ECB will keep pushing.

In a report this week, the IMF admitted mishandling the start of the bailout program in 2010, for failing to tackle private debt restructuring early enough and overestimating the capacity of governments in Greece to swiftly push through public sector and market reforms neglected for decades.

Touching off a public spat with Brussels, the report also blamed the EU for the “notable mistakes.” Samaras, on a two-day visit to Finland, insisted that Greece remained committed to meeting its ambitious deficit reduction targets, and argued that past errors in the bailout program had been corrected.

“This admission by the IMF … provides a very significant reason for the Greek government to stop the program immediately,” Tsipras countered. “The Greek prime minister no longer just shares the responsibility but he carries the burden for leading the Greek people into this ongoing drama,” Tsipras told AP.

Cost-cutting reforms have battered Greece’s economy, pushing up poverty to levels not seen in decades and unemployment to around 27 percent. Speaking later at the Athens meeting, Tsipras argued that Greece had served as a model for European politicians determined to dismantle the welfare state.

“Greece was the guinea pig for this historic change. And it was tried out with full force: cancelling the social pact, destroying social welfare and selling off the country’s entire productive capacity. Now that experiment is ready for export to the rest of Europe.”

Samaras’ year-old conservative-led coalition has promised a return to growth and international bond markets next year, arguing that the harsh austerity measures agreed in exchange for the bailout loans are finally working.

 

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  • Alex

    A communist giving lectures about economic mistakes. Funny that.

    Far left fanatics like Tsipiras seemed to missed the empirical results of 70 years of communism. Even putting aside the scale of the brutality of communist thugs like Pol Pot, Stalin, Tito and other mass murdering dictators that communists so idolize (framing communism as “human rights”)….where is the mention by Tsipiras of the tens of millions starved to death due to the wonders of communist central planning? I wonder what a Chinese citizen about to die due to starvation back in the 70s due to communist imbeciles that sounded just like Tsipiras… would think of his economic “advice”?

    Unfortunately some of our shameless leftists have learned nothing from cold war. They don’t understand dramatic cuts had to be made because we could not continue spending other people’s money. We do not produce like Swedes, Germans and Americans to live like Swedes, Germans and Americans. If we want more for ourselves and our country we need far fewer Greeks that shamelessly demand other peoples money and more Greeks focused on what they themselves produce.

  • Alithia

    Our beloved Lord Tsipras has spoken! Please, gather around and recite a prayers with me…

    Our Commie in hell,Tsipras be your name.Your commie kingdom come,your will be done,on Greece, as it is in hell.Give us this day our daily indoctrination,and forgive us our EU debts,as we also have forgiven our tax collectors.
    Amen.
    Now bow before him…..

  • worldarts

    There is NO Greece anymore because the country is now run by the TROIKA, PASOK and New Democracy thieves who are criminals selling off the country for a pittance! There is also no “free press” here because the Media like Kathimerini, Skai TV and Net are wokring hand in hand with the corrupt Governmnet to spew their phoney agenda..

    Get RID of theses SCUM from PASOK & ND who are running Greece into the ground!

  • ibid

    I am no fan of Tsipras and his ‘love’ for illegals. But all the praising of Samaras as some saviour is totally misguided. His only idea is to sell everything to foreigners for next to nothing. He would even sell his own mother if he couls. He is not champion og Hellas. He is a total fake.

  • thes8niki

    Nice work Samaras and ND/Pasok. Continue bowing down to your overlords over at the IMF,ECB, Wall St, and Germany, you traitor. We see how well that has worked

    We showed this chart over the weekend, but it bears repeating simply because in this case, one chart does indeed speak a thousand words. Presenting: unemployment in Iceland and Greece – pick the “just say no to the status quo” winner out.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/03/Iceland%20vs%20Greece_0.jpg

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/06/20130529_youth_0.jpg

    Just six short months ago (before GGBs rallied 119% and the Athens Stock Index 53%), the EU and IMF agreed on Greek Debt/GDP targets, pronounced the nation “fixed”, and went on winter vacation. Well, surprise, the hockey-stick of expected GDP has not come to pass and now, as Der Spiegel reports, the IMF is refusing to participate in further rescue programs for Greece unless financing for the nation is secured for the next 12 months – in other words – a new haircut for Greece will be required to cover the EUR4.6 billion funding shortfall.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/06/Greece%20GDP%20troika_0.png

    With unemployment levels off the charts, the pension and retirement systems effectively gone and every able-bodied individual (what little remains of them) moving to the shadow economy which now accounts for 24% of GDP, there are few incentives for people to remain on payrolls, pay taxes and otherwise grow the economy via conventional channels. As a result, instead of an improvement in the economy despite all Greek foreign debt now having been forgiven courtesy of its recent conversion to perpetual Zero Coupons, not even during the depths of the recent economic collapse in late 2011 and early 2012 has the economic collapse been as bad. Kathimerini reports that figures released by ELSTAT on Friday showed GDP at 37.7 billion euros in the period from January to March 2013 – the lowest quarterly GDP since 2000.

  • Alithia

    I’m not praising anybody, I’m pointing out that Tsipras is the worst of the worst of the hyenas. Samaras is better, which means….from a pack of hyenas, he’s better then most.

    You want to call that praise?