Green Party Korea supports Greece’s resistance and Syriza’s struggle
Greece failed to repay €15bn (￦1,900bn) to the IMF by June 30. This is actually beach of contract. On July 5th, today, the referendum was held over reforms demanded by Euro zone finance ministers. The Green Party Korea would like to express deep concern and anger on Greece’s crisis and the threats Greece has received from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMFT, also known as the “Troika”.
In Korea, we recognise that Greece’s economy is collapsing in part because of its distorted welfare policy. However, welfare expenditure as a share of GDP per person is the lowest in the Euro zone, 21.3%. Let us remember as well that Greeks work the longest hours in Europe. According to an OECD 2013 report, Germans work 1,388 hours annually whereas Greek work 2,037 hours which is just under the work hours in Korea.
Regarding the threat of Greece leaving the Euro, the Troika should take full responsibility for the current situation. The European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF have put pressure on Greece to have contractionary fiscal policy. Over the past few years the Greek government budget balance became a surplus while the unemployment rate was soaring and the debt was increasing. Greece was a scapegoat for what could be called ‘Money War’. Syriza and the Prime Minister Tsipras are among the sacrificial scapegoats.
Looking back at history, after WWI John Maynard Keynes warned that German reparations for the war would cause civil war in Germany, the same risks exist for sebt-burdened Greece as extreme political groups such as the Popular Association-Golden Dawn emerge.
How was the miracle of Rhine river possible? In 1953, Germany was obliged to pay war reparations under the London Agreement which offered relatively better terms than Greece has today. Under the London Agreement the creditors purchased German products to receive debt payback. Is Greece offered such an opportunity now? No. Without historical reflection, the Greece crisis cannot be resolved.
The Green Party Korea urges the Troika to release Greece’s debt. Even though repayment will take time, sufficient space should be provided. Do not put pressure for contractionay fiscal policy upon Greece. The Green Party Korea supports Greece’s “no” vote at the referendum. We give big support to Syriza. We share our deep solidarity with Green Party Greece comrades.
July 1, 2015.
Green Party Korea
07/01/2015 – 08:00