H.E. Mr. Olli Rehn
Vice – President of the European Commission Athens, 14 February 2013
I read in today’s Greek Press the letter dated February 13, 2013 that you sent to the members of the ECOFIN. Allow me, as a citizen of Greece, to make some remarks.
Your letter is an excellent document that analyzes the effects of fiscal multipliers and the mistake admitted by the IMF. I can partially agree with you, when you say that:”Recent studies on fiscal multipliers are of particular limited use when it comes to the specific case of Greece…” I can agree that they are of limited use, since the whole program for Greece is wrong, the Memoranda are wrong and not being implemented, because the people of Greece cannot cope any more with the measures imposed upon them. On the other hand, if the IMF mistake resulted in damaging the Greek economy by, let’s say. 40 billion euros, then why not deduct this amount from the total Greek debt.
That the whole program for Greece is wrong and ineffective was obvious from the outset, when it was first adopted in 2010. And in spite of the warnings of the economic indicators, increase of unemployment from around 16% in 2009 to 28% today, increase of the debt, increase of poverty, creation of food lines, increased suicides, unburied dead etc, nothing was done by the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank to correct the situation. Austerity can no longer work on a population that can no longer afford to pay taxes to a State that cannot give anything in exchange. And we are speaking about a Member-State of the EU, that is being destroyed in order to be saved.
Must I remind you that the program for Greece violates article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty, ”The EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights belonging to minorities.” Article 3,p.1 is also violated : ”The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well being of its peoples.” In Greece, Portugal and Spain, human dignity and the well being of their peoples are no longer respected as a result of the austerity measures.
In your letter to ECOFIN you mention many times the word confidence, return of confidence, erode the confidence, to support confidence etc. Yes, but whose confidence? The EU has lost the confidence of the people. The confidence of the markets is implied? No mention even once of the word “people”. Mention, however, is made of percentages of GDP, yet we are not percentages of GDP, but human beings.
So you may ask me what can we do to help Greece? The solution can only be one. That is to zero the Greek debt which is about 3% of the EU’s GDP, and allow Greece, through a program of reform to achieve growth. Only in this way will Greece be able, perhaps, to remain in the Eurozone, and the euro to be saved. It will also cost less to the EU.
I hope that my observations may be of assistance to you in your very difficult work for which I wish you every success for the benefit of the people of Europe.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,