Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers, today ruled out debt relief for Greece, and damped down expectations of a quick agreement with the government of Alexis Tsipras to unlock more billions of European tax payers money to keep Tsipras’ bankster austerity government in power.
“It’s my goal to get there before the summer, even more so at the next Eurogroup. Today is a first general discussion about debt and we will try to make a breakthrough on May 24,” Dijsselbloem said on entering the eurogroup talks on Greece this afternoon.
Germany today also rejected calls for talks on debt relief for Greece. Berlin said the bailout review had to be successfully completed before talks on debt relief were possible.
The rejection of debt relief and a quick deal will be a disappointment to Tsipras and his backers in the USA and IMF, who increased the pressure over the weekend on the Eurozone finance ministers into committing to another multi billion tax payer cash pot for banksters and hedge funds.
Tsipras rushed through an unbalanced austerity package which targets crushing taxes at what remains of the Greek economy’s productive sector, attracting the criticism even of the head of Piraeus Bank.
“The real issue is that Greece implements the measures, that the government strengthens the role of the private sector and that the role of the state in the economy is restricted,” Michalis Sallas told the Financial Times today.
“We’ve become a country where just one-third of the population works in productive activities. They have to support everyone else — the public sector employees, pensioners and the unemployed.”
After the Tsipras austerity package passed by Parliament at the weekend, the population working in productive activities is set to shrink yet again.
It could, in fact, end up being about one tenth of the population if tens of thousands of farmers, engineers, doctors, lawyers and businesses are forced into bankruptcy due to massive increases in tax and social security contributions to pay for extravagant supplementary pensions for high end earners, a bloated state apparatus and tax breaks for the very rich.
A serious examination of the bailout agreement made with Greece in August 2015 shows that Tsipras has failed to meet his commitments to Eurozone governments, also on the “priority” of depoliticising the public administration.
A recent study found that about 200 billion euros or 95% of Greek bailout funds has gone to banks.