Adopted at the Istanbul Council, 7-9 November 2014
On the Situation in Greece
Background – Motivation
The Greek Greens bring concerning issues around the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), to the attention of the European Greens through this resolution, submitted for the Autumn Council meeting in Istanbul. The Greek Greens express also their concern about the choices of the Greek Government in several issues that put in serious risk the ability of the country to overcome the crisis
The Greek Greens are concerned about Greek government initiatives to sell public goods at reduced rates that don’t take into account either the constitution or the international environmental conventions and will only benefit private enterprise at the expense of Greek citizens. HRADF, which the Greek government has stated was set up to help stabilise the Greek economy, is tasked with the development and/or sale of buildings, shares, antiquities, water and energy resources, ports, roads, natural areas, forests, beaches, etc. Any funds generated are to be used solely to repay public debt. However, total sales generated by HRADF up to this point are roughly €4.9bn below targets. In 2013-2014, it declared losses of more than €400,000.
HRDAF's work is contrary to constitutional and international conventions, and more precisely: the Art.8 of the International Convention of Rio on Biological Diversity, the Art.5.6 of the International Convention for the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in Europe, the Art.3 of the International Convention on the conservation of migratory birds wildlife, the Art.3 and 6 of Directive 92/43 / EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and finally the Art.2, 3 and 4 of Directive 2009/147 / EC on the conservation of wild birds (4).
The Greek Greens highlight the sale of the area around Attica in Athens to Lamda Developments as a particularly troubling, yet typical example of HRADF's approach. 6,000,000 square meters with 4km sea-frontage has been sold for €75 per square meter, when more typical property prices in the area are €500-800 per square meter. The government itself paid €1,500 per square meter in the same municipality last year. The contract doesn't stipulate any planning limitations. Of further concern is that competition rules were changed by HRDAF after other companies withdrew. Rather than the state getting 30% of all net profits, the state will now only get 30% of profits exceeding 15%. The state has also committed to paying all associated infrastructure costs.
The privatisation of electricity production recently is also of immediate concern. It will only add 11GW of lignite production, ignoring and undermining the perspective for an alternative energy Plan. 30% of the PCC will be sold based on book value, vastly undervaluing it and escalating energy poverty in Greece. It will also have critical social and environmental consequences.
The Greek Greens highlight that the above cases, along with a reduction of labour costs without lowering living costs and the loss of social rights, are a result of the government and Troika failing to stabilise the Greek economy, and risk destabilising the Eurozone. Tax fraud is still rampant, and rather than addressing it, through consecutive clientelistic tax reforms, the tax burden continues to fall on individuals and SMEs, while the accumulation of wealth is rewarded with even less taxes than before the crisis. The recent property tax is highlighted as an example of particularly unfair taxation (zero tax thresholds, flat tax rate and no prospect for comprehensive wealth taxation).
The Greek Greens are also calling for fair and mutually supportive cooperation between Greece, other EU States, and the European Institutions, while expressing their deep concern about initiatives directed only through government agreements (e.g. the questionnaire sent by the German Interior Minister).
This resolution has two targets:
- To inform the European citizens that their support to Greece is managed by a government that breaks the law, and finally is not been used to reform Greek economy.
- To inform Greek citizens that European Greens care about them and intent to fight against a political system that provoked the crisis and insists to the same clientelistic policies.
The EGP Council united in Istanbul requests the following
1. The European Greens call for action to question the legitimacy of the actions of the HRADF to:
- The European court in cooperation with other agencies and NGOs
- The European Economic and Social Committee as it is the "voice of civil society” in Europe
- At the Committee of the Regions
- The European Parliament and the EU Commission
2. Without proper public revenues no sustainable development is possible. The European Greens call upon the Commission to scrutinise the Greek Government, as is agreed in the Memorandum:
- To propose fair and comprehensive wealth taxation aiming at specific policy targets and internalising social and environmental costs
- To review unilateral promotion of the privatisation of electricity production and distribution, without the drawing up of an alternative energy plan the adoption of immediate measures for drastic savings and energy self-production in the domestic, agricultural and industrial sector
3. The European Greens call upon the Greek government to commit itself to sustainable economic as well as institutional reforms:
- Aiming for more transparency, citizen’s involvement in decision-making, especially at the regional level and the process of drafting the Operation Plans for the next programming period and
- Giving emphasis to the economic sustainability of local and regional governments as well as to social programmes
The European Greens are also calling formore solidarity between Greece, other EU Member States, and the European Institutions, through bottom-up initiatives by the society, the productive and collective entities under the coordination of the loca
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