It’s called “bailout” but in reality it’s blackmail


Richard Moore

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It’s called “bailout” but in reality it’s blackmail

01.07.2011 20:37

What has just been approved in Greece? See the “big special package” imposed by IMF and EU… 

It's called In 2011, the Greek government aims to raise $5 billion from the sale of the gaming and lottery monopoly OPAP, the Postbank, the water management company in Thessaloniki, the second largest city, and the port management companies of Piraeus and Thessaloniki. 

Between 2012 and 2015, intentions are to raise an additional $45 billion with full or partial privatization of the water management company in Athens, refineries, utilities, the ATEbank, specializing in agriculture and management of ports, airports, highway rights, mining, real estate and state land. 

The Special Package

1 .- fiscal consolidation package 

The new measures aim to cut state spending some 14.3 billion and raise to another 14.1 billion by 2015, aiming to bring the deficit below 3% of the GDP this year. 

2 .- tax increases 

The state will impose a “solidarity tax” of between 1 and 4% for the highest incomes. For ministers, parliamentarians and other public officials with significant incomes, the tax is 5%. 

The taxes raise up to 300 euros per year the tax on professionals who work for themselves, such as lawyers, plumbers or taxi drivers.

They reduce the minimum exemption of taxation from 12,000 to 8,000 euros, but it excludes workers under 30 and pensioners, and a special real estate tax is created for the owners of goods of more than 200,000 euros.

Taxes increase on luxury goods like yachts, swimming pools and high-powered cars, and opens the possibility of legalizing real estate constructed outside the law after a penalty payment of fees based on valuations. It also eliminates many tax exemptions.

The VAT is hiked for bars and restaurants from 13 to 23% and the fight is strengthened against tax evasion and “informal” work.

3 .- Cuts in public spending 

The State aims to remove 150,000 government jobs, 25% of the total. To achieve this, the contracts of temporary workers will not be extended in public institutions and only one in ten positions will be replaced of retiring persons. Wages, which were cut an average of 12% last year, will again be reduced, although it is not yet known to what extent.

Various social benefits have been eliminated to save 4.0 billion euros by 2015. It also will cut 500 million euros this year from grants to state agencies and another 855 million euros until 2015 with the merger of schools, hospitals, colleges, police stations and other institutions.

Health spending is reduced until 2015 in the amount of 2.1 billion euros through the streamlining of prescriptions and resorting to using cheaper drugs.

For the first time in three decades, military spending is reduced, which until now was the highest in percentage of European NATO countries, about 4% of the GDP, although many analysts believe that it would be higher due to the use of hidden items. In total, the spending is reduced by 1.2 billion euros until 2015, and orders for weapons worth 830 million euros will be canceled.

Public investment expenditures will be reduced to 850 million euros this year. During public protests against the measures, 148 persons were hospitalized.


Translated from the Spanish version by:

Lisa Karpova


Lisa Karpova