IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s warning that Greece has not definitively avoided bankruptcy captured press attention, as the seemingly endless sacrifices of the Greek people are obviously not enough to avert a more formal default.
The IMF, the organisation that best manages to destroy the social fabric of societies, is concerned that the Greek elections may jeopardise implementation of the bailout programme.
At least it had the courtesy to allow Greece to hold elections, although everyone knows that political, social and economic policy is determined by the country’s creditors, and not the Greeks themselves.
Louka Katseli dropped a political bombshell in her claim that it was not the troika that demanded the essential abolition of collective bargaining, but rather George Papandreou and his two finance ministers – Yiorgos Papakonstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos. One might say that Katseli, a former labour minister, wants to torpedo Pasok so as to help her fledgling Social Pact party, which has not polled well so far.
But she had voted down the relevant article (37) on labour relations in the new bailout memorandum, which was the reason she was expelled from Pasok.
If the charge is true, it proves what many already believed – that the domestic political and business classes are persuading the troika to take anti-labour measures that they may not have insisted on otherwise.
“Greece has not yet definitively averted bankruptcy” read Kathimerini’s headline, quoting from Christine Lagarde.
“They are withdrawing their money from Switzerland” declared Ta Nea’s headline, referring to Greek depositors. The report said that many depositors fear that a Swiss-Greek agreement may lead to them being taxed on their deposits. But the fact is that the bilateral agreement is quite a way off.
“Patients face a Golgotha at pharmacies” declared Ethnos’ headline on the new national health agency, the National Organisation for the Provision of Health Services (EOPYY).
The new fund owes two billion euros, and hence insured patients will no longer have credit at pharmacies. One recent report said that a woman who needed a drug for cancer could not get it, because the pharmacist would have had to pay 4,000 euros up front to get it from the supplier, and of course no one will do that.
“Scenario for elections on May 13 is on the table” read another front-page title. That would be a one week postponement from the May 6 date that has been floated so far. The reason reportedly is a delay in the recapitalisation of the banks.