Greece is growing a spine. Seems the EU and the IMF are demanding Greece sell off their public assets, and in response to these demands, Greece said:
"The behavior of the representatives of the EU, IMF and ECB during yesterday’s press conference was unacceptable,” government spokesman George Petalotis said in a statement today, referring to the European Central Bank. “The only agent responsible for these decisions is the Greek government. We take orders only from the Greek people.”
It was the first time the government has publicly struck back at the IMF and the European Union, which rescued Greece from bankruptcy but at a price that many Greeks consider too harsh.
The IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission delegation said Greece must privatize euro50 billion ($68 billion) in state assets and speed up structural reforms in the next few months to keep the country's troubled finances afloat. The IMF representative also said some of the frequent demonstrations against the Greek government's reforms were being carried out by groups angry at losing their "unfair advantages and privileges."
Just incredible and good for Greece. The IMF is pushing their austerity program, which is privatization and reductions in pensions, social safety nets for workers, who I guess are those of unfair advantage and priviledge.
Beyond the previous agreement for loans to Greece, now the ECB, EU and IMF are demanding massive privatization:
Most importantly, Greece will have to privatise on a massive scale in the coming years, with privatisation goals raised to 50 billion euro by 2015, of which 15 billion euro by 2013 instead of the seven billion euro initially announced. This objective is "feasible" and "realistic," Commission representative Servaas Deroose told the press in Athens, upon conclusion of the third inspection of the country’s finances. These privatisations form part of the "necessary" structural reforms that the country must "extend" to attain its objectives.
Meanwhile Greek transport workers, hospital workers, Doctors go on strike.
The Socialist government has been implementing strict and unpopular austerity measures, increasing taxes, raising retirement ages and cutting salaries and pensions. It has also pledged to restructure loss-making state transport companies, reform the public health sector and eliminate tightly controlled licensing practices and fixed profit margins for dozens of professionals, from pharmacists to lawyers and notaries.