Monday, February 6, 2012
Greece: Government agrees to fire 15,000 workers
Not content with replacing an elected prime minister by a EU favored technocrat the Troika has insisted that the state cut even more jobs as part of new austerity measures. Earlier the government had agreed to sell off state assets.
Up to now the government has resisted cutting more jobs. The result will likely be even more civil unrest and demonstrations. The cuts are part of a deal so that Greece can receive a 170 billion dollar bailout from the EU and IMF. Without the bailout Greece would default on its bond payments.
Earlier in May of 2010 Greece received a 145 billion bailout package. Even with the austerity measures banks have had to forgive 131.6 billion in Greek debt. Greece had agreed to cut public sector employment by 150,000 by the end of 2015 but was going to do it through attrition and not firings. Apparently that was not acceptable to the Troika
Angela Merkel chimed in : "'I want to make clear once again that there can be no deal if the troika proposals are not implemented. They are on the table, time is of the essence. Something needs to happen quickly." Greece is now already in its fifth year of recession. Cutting jobs and demand is a sure way of maintaining the recession. For more see this article. Even though the government agreed to further cuts there will be talks on Tuesday aimed at finalizing the agreement. No doubt there will be frantic activity among party leaders and others behind the scenes.