welcome back on the road to your Europeaness: should we call it a steep walk today? Yes, I fear we should.
What stands on our way is, infact, an organization at the same time essential but devastating for economic sustainability: the Troika.
The term Troika, which comes from the Russian meaning 'group of three', describes the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, who formed a group of international lenders that provided bailouts, or promises of bailouts for indebted peripheral European states – such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece – in the financial crisis.
In order to its financial definition, the triumvirate sounds like a kind of 21th century's fairy tale in which the leaders of Europe zone, inspired by the strength of the Europeaness that leads the Union, are helpful to those nations which were badly managed by their politicians, untill they came into the risk of bankrupt.
Obviously, the reality teaches us that every mistake costs a fair bit and, more than a tale, the Troika is a thriller.
The victims are several and well known: in first line we have the Greeks and the "murder" is the austerity policy to which Greek government was forced to have back financial helps from the set of three. Infact, The Papandreou's willing of a referendum was revoked.
In a letter published in the Financial Times, Philippe Legrain of the European Institute of the London School of Economics, noted that the total loss of Greek economic output between 2009 and 2014 was €191 billion, equivalent to more than 100% of Greek GDP. No wonder the pre-Syriza governments had the lifespans of fruit flies. Voters saw them as the Troika’s lapdogs and took to the streets in mass, violent anti-austerity protests, like in Syntagma Square. A vote for the ruling party was a vote for unemployment, or worse.
In Greece, the Troika badly miscalculated the effects of piling harsh austerity onto the already wrecked Greek economy in a recession-hammered Europe. The Greek economy got carpet bombed; GDP fell by more than 25% and is only now climbing out of the hole, slowly. Only in 2014, GDD grew by 0.7%.
Unemployment climbed to almost 28% (it’s now 26%) and the youth jobless rate rose to more than 50%, where it remains.
Tax revenue shrank and the national debt rose – the opposite of what was supposed to happen. Almost every number except tourism receipts went in the wrong direction. Fiscal waterboarding indeed.
At that point is quite clear that creditors costs a lot, but most of all into a social dimension.
The social diseases would have happened anyway, because of they're the bad sons of a big financial crisis and an unhealthy management of the govern, but the right question is: Could more time have made available a less steep path for Greek population? Lending money allows to creditors the position to make rules and conditions, most of all to a country which risks bankrupt. But what about the national sovereignty?
Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, andapplying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations.
Troika shows on which basis economy is built: to deserve your rights is to have the ability to manage your money, a disposition which is now reserved to the austerity. What a pity that the triumvirate's measures are just keeping leading Greeks in the crisis nightmare. But they still deserve the power to make choice and govern others country.
Tsipras declared that "bailouts with devastating austerity measures... this is over."
He said his government had been crystal clear about concrete proposals on the next steps for the country. The Greek government wants a "bridge programme" that should entail reforms, but only ones that it can accept.
"The Troika is over" - Tsipras stated.
Who knows the future, but at the moment "No Troika, no party": that's what we state.
Nicoletta Amato, European Generation
Thursday, February 26th, 2015