ALL Greek state-owned properties handed over to EU-IMF control

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Culture Ministry workers demonstrating at the Acropolis – now under the control of the EU-IMF.  Banner reads ‘no sackings’
Culture Ministry workers demonstrating at the Acropolis – now under the control of the EU-IMF. Banner reads ‘no sackings’

Every single Greek state-owned building is being passed by the government over to the EU-IMF controlled EESYP (Greek Properties Company) to pay back creditors. Greek public debt is estimated at about 315bn euros!

Hospitals, schools, universities, institutions, old people’s homes, orphanages, theatres, archaeological sites, museums, ministry and state buildings – all are being handed to the EESYP, who can rent them out, sell them off or do whatever they feel like. It would generate income, with 50% going to the ‘lenders’ and 50% to the Greek state.

Last week the Association of Greek Archaeologists (SEA) announced that through preliminary research they have found out that over 10,000 properties have been passed by the Greek government to the EESYP since the signing, last June, of yet another austerity accord with the EU.

SEA stated that the Greek government published the list of buildings and sites handed over to the EESYP disguised in complicated code numbers. SEA research identified some top archaeological sites and museums, in Thessaloniki and Crete, in the list.

Since last week the Greek government and EESYP have admitted that a list of over 70,000 buildings and sites has been completed and all these buildings and sites would be under the jurisdiction of the EESYP for the next 99 years.

Following the objections of the Greek Archaeologists, the Greek government said that archaeological sites and monuments would not be passed on to the EESYP. The Greek government also said that streets, pavements, mountains, lakes, rivers and national parks would remain under Greek state ownership.

This statement, however, verified that all else – hospitals, schools, institutions, orphanages etc – would indeed be passed on to the EESYP. EESYP is a Greek state company but the Greek state has absolutely no say in it. EESYP’s chair of management committee has been appointed by the EU-IMF creditors and holds a veto.

Through four successive bail-outs (2010-2018) Greece has now been transformed into a state with no property and without any control or say on the national economy. All Greek state income (inland revenue etc) is being operated and managed by the Independent Public Income Authority (AADE) which again is controlled by EU-IMF appointees with a veto and huge wages.

The Greek Vouli (Parliament) does not have a right to vote legislation which could be judged by the EU-IMF overlords as being contrary to the austerity accords!

The Greek Vouli is nothing but a rubber stamp on EU-IMF directives. Yet the trade union bureaucracy and the so-called left-wing parties in Greece, the Greek Communist Party and the left-radicals ANTARSYA, have refused to call and mobilise workers to overthrow such a reactionary rotten regime that calls itself the Greek government.

EU-IMF have imposed a dictatorship on Greece but this should not be seen as an isolated extreme case. The European Union’s methods and policies for all member states is that they are obliged to obey Brussels diktats and essentially give up their sovereignty.

Meanwhile, two more people died last week because there weren’t any ambulances to take them to hospital, according to the national union of public hospital workers (POEDIN). The incidents occurred in central Greece in Magnesia on Monday and in Aitoloacarnania on Tuesday last week.

In a statement, POEDIN said that in the first case, a man fainted during a town festival but there was no ambulance at the nearby Velestino Medical Centre. In the other case, a man was seriously injured in a road accident near the Halkiopoulos Medical Centre.

An ambulance had to be dispatched from the town of Agrinio but the injured man arrived at the hospital too late and died of his injuries. No further details were available about the two victims.

Earlier this month, a 74-year-old British tourist died on the southeastern Aegean island of Kalymnos because there was no ambulance available to take her to the hospital. In a statement, POEDIN said the local hospital on Kalymnos does not provide an ambulance service at night. The woman fell ill while on a yacht docked at Emporios and the local hospital was notified to dispatch an ambulance.

‘The hospital’s reply was that there is no night shift and that she should be transferred by private means,’ POEDIN said. She was eventually taken to hospital in a jeep provided by a private individual. However, the woman died in hospital and her body was transferred to the island of Rhodes for an autopsy.

The Greek union of public hospital workers (POEDIN) has said that the impact of years of cuts and privatisation on the health sector has been devastating.

Since 2010, when Greece signed its first international bailout, the number of permanent employees at hospitals has been slashed enormously, by 25,000, POEDIN said.

It added that state funding for hospitals this year was just 786 million euros compared with 1.5 billion euros in 2015, when the coalition of leftist SYRIZA and right-wing Independent Greeks came to power. Half of the equipment in state hospitals has exceeded its life expectancy, the union added.

POEDIN also stressed the acute doctor shortages on the islands. On Ithaca, for instance, the health centre has just six doctors, three of whom are set to retire this year, POEDIN said.

• Workers at a camp for refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos went on strike earlier this month to protest against overcrowding, as the government conceded conditions were ‘near impossible’. More than 8,300 people occupy the Moria camp, which has room for only 3,100, in conditions Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas described as ‘very difficult, near impossible’.

In a statement, a staff committee demanded better police protection for both residents and personnel of the camp, among other relief. Occupants, it said, were made to endure ‘tragic life conditions unworthy of a European country’ – echoing similar warnings by NGOs and the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees.

‘The situation is fraught with dangers, whether it be the risk of epidemics, of deaths caused by inclement weather, suicides, or mutinies,’ the statement added.

Lesbos has been a gateway to the European Union since the start of the bloc’s refugee crisis in 2015.

At the height of the influx, some 5,000 refugees, mainly from Syria, landed on the island’s beaches daily. With about 10,500 today, Lesbos has the highest concentration of refugees in Greece, with Moria infamous as the camp with the worst conditions. Most arrivals live for months in squalid conditions while waiting for asylum applications to be processed.

Camp management is trying to alleviate the situation by accelerating the transfer to Europe of those considered ‘vulnerable’ and therefore eligible for asylum, deputy director Dimitris Vafeas said. But continuing new arrivals from the nearby Turkish coast, despite an EU-Turkey pact meant to lessen the Europe-bound flow, prevents any long-term solution, he said.

‘From May 1 to August 30, 3,950 vulnerable people were brought to the continent, but 5,450 others arrived in Lesbos,’ he said, reiterating that Greece ‘insists on the need for a redistribution’ of refugees throughout Europe.