Syriza to impose austerity – with support from the right-wing

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IN A RADIO interview yesterday morning the Greek Minister for the Interior Nikos Voutsis said there must be an agreement reached this week between the Greek government and the troika of EC-IMF-ECB.

He said the agreement would be ‘honest, clear and lucid but also quite painful’. Voutsis stated that the Greek government, a coalition of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left Party) and ANEL (Independent Greeks Party), will present the agreement with the EC-IMF-ECB to the Vouli (Greek parliament).

If the agreement is not voted by the SYRIZA parliamentary deputies then, Voutsis said, a general election will be called. Although several SYRIZA deputies of the Left Platform have said that they will not vote for the agreement, Voutsis was confident that these deputies ‘will act with responsibility’.

All the right-wing opposition parties have said they will vote for the agreement. In the meantime the Greek government have to decide if the 300m euros tranche to the IMF will be paid by this Friday 5 June.

Last week Voutsis and other ministers said that the tranche will not be paid unless an agreement between Greece and the EC-IMF-ECB lenders is reached. But late last week both the Greek Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis and the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble stated that the deadline is June 30th for a new agreement.

Last February, Greece and the EC-IMF-ECB signed an ‘extension’ to the Austerity Measures Accords that expire at the end of June. Last Friday, Vassilis Korkidis, the President of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (NCHC), stated at the parliamentary Committee for the Investigation of the Austerity Measures Accords, that in December 2011 the representative of the IMF Paul Thomsen told him that the Greek government must impose monthly wages of just 300 euros.

According to various laconic statements by Greek ministers last week, the new austerity agreement between Greece and the EC-IMF-ECB will contain privatisations of ports, airports and railways, cuts in pensions and increase in VAT rates. Ministers have also stated that the EC-IMF-ECB demand ‘reforms’ of labour legislation, mass sackings in the public sector and wage cuts.