Austerity Package Passes Greek Parliament

Via the BBC:  Greek MPs pass austerity plan amid violent protests

Greece’s parliament has passed a controversial package of austerity measures, demanded by the eurozone and IMF in return for a 130bn-euro ($170bn; £110bn) bailout to avoid default.

[…]

The austerity measures include:

  • 15,000 public-sector job cuts
  • liberalisation of labour laws
  • lowering the minimum wage by 20% from 751 euros a month to 600 euros
  • negotiating a debt write-off with banks.

Meanwhile,

The vote came amid some of the worst violence seen in Greece in years.

Protesters outside parliament threw stones and petrol bombs, and police fired tear gas. Several people were injured and buildings were set on fire.

Not only was their rebellion in the streets, but also inside parliament:  “Coalition parties expelled over 40 deputies for failing to back the bill.”

FILED UNDER: Europe, Quick Takes, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    15,000 public-sector job cuts
    This will accelerate the country’s economic contraction by lowering demand, but it will also worsen deficits as Greece’s automatic stabilizers increase spending to compensate.

    liberalisation of labour laws
    This is neo-liberal code for removing all protections for employes and relegating them to effective serfdom. Once again the common greek (the ones actually paying taxes) are squeezed for cash while the wealthy elite who created this situation continue to buy expensive homes and apartments in London.

    lowering the minimum wage by 20% from 751 euros a month to 600 euros
    This has absolutely nothing to do with Greece’s budget deficits. Once again the predatory capitalist class has hijacked the debt issue for another opportunity to eek out additional short-term profits.

    negotiating a debt write-off with banks

    Greece already had a debt-write off plan with the banks, yet it suddenly seems to have receded into oblivion. The Germans and French are deliberately dragging out a settlement so as to force Greece into total economic collapse, at which point it will leave the EMU and relieve the Troika of their current headache.