The ongoing crisis in the eurozone and questions surrounding the debt of Greece will be the main issues dealt with at the EU summit and the council of EU finance ministers this thursday 23rd and friday 24th of June.
The Greek government may have just won a vote of confidence with its new cabinet being approved by parliament, yet the massive debt and looming austerity measures still pose severe problems for the country. Prime Minister George Papandreou's will now attempt to persuade the parliament to approve a five-year package of tax increases and spending cuts.
European politicians such as Commission President Barroso have been putting a great deal of pressure on Greece to make cuts, fiscal reforms and extensive privatization to avoid defaulting on its repayments for loans. They claim the legislation is necessary for a loan to be given so that Greece can pay its debts.
This does not amount to a long-term solution however, and risks causing irreparable damage to social welfare if drastic cuts are pushed through. The people of Greece have responded angrily and en masse to this severe threat to the fabric of their society. Today again, thousands of people gathered outside the parliament building in Athens to protest against both the austerity measures and politicians in general. They have shown their determination to keep up this action until their voices are heard.
EGP co-chair Philippe Lamberts said, "It is vitally important that we send out a clear message that what Europe needs to find its way out of the economic crisis is not cuts to public services which will lead us further into a recession and cause far more job losses and hardship, particularly to the most vulnerable citizens. We Greens will continue to call for much more effective and fairer alternatives to austerity measures, including investment in the Green New Deal and meaningful financial reform."
In a statement on behalf of the Green Party of Greece (Oikologoi Prasinoi), press representatives Eleanna Ioannidou and Yannis Paraskevopoulos, said:
“Where common strategies exist, there is also space for governmental cooperation, particularly when the existing political system has nothing better to give to our society. However, we have serious reasons to be concerned, since the two main parties in power have already converged for the worst.
We Ecologists Greens insist on the need to invest in a way out of the crisis. We underline once again that any financial ‘cleansing’ is quite different from an attack on the social and environmental viability.”
“They confirmed that programmatic differences are not the point of divergence, instead it is the way that each party sees its own party line interests."
“Finally, the government of the former “Green Growth” simply recycled itself and re-adjusted its internal balance, in the worst way for our society and the collective goods. It is obvious that it has nothing new to give, in ideas or persons. The effort of the political system to draw some form of legality from itself also shows the extent of its bankruptcy”.