Personal statement on the second ‘rescue package’ for Greece

Personal statement by Andrej Hunko, The Left Party parliamentary group, under Section 31 of the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag concerning the motion tabled by the Federal Ministry of Finance on the approval of ‘financial assistance for the Hellenic Republic’.

The German Federal Government is requesting the Bundestag’s consent for what is referred to as the second ‘rescue package’ for Greece. It involves the granting of financial assistance to Greece by the EFSF in the form of loans worth up to 189.4 billion euros (130 billion euros of new assistance, 24.4 billion euros of unutilised funds from the first Greek package and collateral enhancemendt for the European Central Bank with a value of 35 billion euros). Germany is assuming liability for up to 38 billion euros as a guarantee for the EFSF. I voted against this measure for the following reasons:

1.    The ‘financial assistance for the Hellenic Republic’ is, in reality, a further rescue package for the banks. The aim is to save the creditors and not the Greek population. Taxpayers’ money will yet again be redistributed from the bottom to the top by this measure.
2.    The ‘rescue package’ will not resolve the crisis, but exacerbate it. The measures that have been taken to date have already demonstrated clearly that, under the leadership of the German Federal Government, Europe’s policy response to the crisis is going in completely the wrong direction. Instead of offering ways out of the crisis, this mistaken policy is driving the Greek economy ever further into a downward spiral.
3.    The new measures are an open assault on democracy. The EU and, first and foremost, the Merkel government are dictating a fatal policy while bypassing fundamental democratic procedures. This assault is manifested in the loss of sovereign rights, the setting up of a special, segregated account for the servicing of Greece’s debts and the ban on collective bargaining.
4.    As far as the Greek population is concerned, the conditions attached to the financial assistance for the banks signify a historically unprecedented social impoverishment. At a time of economic recession, a policy of cuts to the social sector that goes beyond anything ever seen in the past is being combined with massive wage reductions, job-losses and privatisations.
5.    It is not the Greek population that is responsible for the crisis, but neoliberal economic policies, the de facto expropriation of large parts of Europe’s population and the repeated ‘rescuing’ of creditors. Instead of those who have profited from the crisis, both in Greece and in Germany, being asked to pay for it, the burdens of the crisis are being placed on the populations of Greece, Germany and the whole of Europe.

Andrej Hunko, 27 February 2012