“They ask us to strike with sadism at the weakest Greeks. As if they have not been hit hard enough for five years now. As if, by submerging under their new misanthropic measures the Greek economy will somehow emerge from the crisis. As if EKAS (the basic pension for the poorest) was the root cause for Greece wallowing in its darkest crisis” Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, said in a speech in Iraklion.
“The lenders are demanding (amongst other things) that we cut EKAS and tax electricity by 23% so that any money raised can be sunk into the ‘black hole’ of debt”
“We did not put on the negotiating table “to break” with Europe. But “the break” with Europe is something that can be imagined. We will offer one reasonable proposal after another – but there will be no humiliation. If they want our humiliation, they will suffer with the dissolution of Europe. “The break’ should be from the status quo and a break with our own bad self”, said the Finance Minister.
Minister Varoufakis accused lenders of “pretending”, arguing that no one believes that “the measures they propose will grow our economy and get their money back.” Indeed he implied ‘doublespeak’, that they say one thing publicly and other things in private meetings.
According to Mr. Varoufakis, the new austerity the institutions want to impose on Greece will reduce the revenues from which the creditors expect to collect their money. Moreover, as the IMF knows through its own research “the new austerity they want to impose will reduce even further the income from which debt will be repaid.”
Mr. Varoufakis attributed the difficulty of reaching agreement on disputes between the lenders’ institutions, but also between euro area Member States and in some cases within Member States.
“We have three institutions that do not want the same thing and the Member States with their own agendas.” “We are not in negotiations. We are negotiating for the right to negotiate,” said the minister.