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Spiegel Says Greek Politicians Need Pressure

38913C1FFA64600260479E000B42C36BThe German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel has written that Greek political leaders would be incapable of pushing through reforms if not for pressure from its international lenders who have insisted on harsh austerity in return for $325 billion in two bailoiuts.

The article said it’s only the constant threat of having the money pipeline turned off that makes the Greek government go ahead with reforms, but only after interminable foot-dragging.

Greek Prime and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras’ coalition government, that includes his otherwise political rivals the PASOK Socialists, have relented to demands from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank. Germany, the biggest contributor to bailouts, wants unrelenting pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and the firing of scores of thousands of workers.

“It is so evident that Greece needs reforms, as is the fact that the political scene of the country is incapable of carrying them out, without pressure from abroad. This pressure renders only when we give them the help in parts. Because, why would the Greek politicians impose fiscal discipline or implement reforms when they know they can count on the unlimited credit from abroad? The threat of cutting the payments is the only weapon the Troika has in hand, when it is visiting Athens,” the article stated.

Samaras was singled out for special criticism for saying that he doesn’t like the austerity measures he’s imposing, agreeing to them after he opposed them when he wasn’t in office. “He disagrees with the reductions in budget and supports that it is EU who imposes them,” the piece added.

The magazine finally noted that it’s the taxpayers of the other 16 countries in the Eurozone who are putting up loans to pay for wild overspending and the hiring of hundreds of thousands of needless workers over the years by alternating New Democracy and PASOK administrations.

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