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IMF Insists on Same Medicine That Destroyed the Greek Economy

IMF_GreeceThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admitted on several occasions in the recent past that it made serious errors in its assessment of the impact of the austerity measures on the Greek economy.
Indeed, instead of projected growth, expansionary austerity led the Greek economy to a free fall and produced unprecedented unemployment levels.
Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped the high priests of neoliberalism from demanding the same and even higher doses of the same medicine that has produced catastrophic results for Greek economy and society.
IMF’s representatives involved in the negotiation talks for the new Greek bailout agreement have delayed the review of the program by making outrageous demands on the Greek government with regard to pension reform and labor rights. They still believe in the creation of a totally “free-market” economy as the appropriate model for growth and prosperity, although the historical record reveals that the IMF’s neoliberal-driven policies have produced social wastelands virtually everywhere where they have been applied.
And it is not simply the administrative arm of the IMF that regards the austerity medicine as the only solution to Greece’s economic crisis, as some commentators like to believe. The Fund’s economists are themselves devout neoliberals.
It is hardly surprising , therefore, to read what the IMF’s chief economist Maurice Obstfeld had to say about the Greek debt drama in his interview to the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt published today.
Mr. Obstfeld believes that the austerity measures are simply inevitable in Greece’s case, but opts not to discuss why six years of draconian austerity measures have produced such undesirable economic and social outcomes.
The only concession Mr. Obstfeld makes is when he says that there may be a temporary loosening of austerity on account of the refugee crisis facing Greece at the moment. But he insists that austerity and deeper reforms are a must and should be implemented by any means necessary.
At the same time, IMF’s chief economist expresses concern over the latest developments in Europe as he sees a danger of a return to the erection of national borders. In his view, this would be an undesirable outcome as it would put a break on the global processes of economic integration.
The Fund’s vision is one of a world dominated by multinational corporations and where labor power is “free” to be used and exploited at the will of powerful economic actors.
In this worldview, trade unions and labor rights pose a problem to the pursuit of profit maximization by domestic and global corporate entities, and thus must be removed by any means necessary. Same goes for the social state, one of Europe’s greatest accomplishments in the postwar era.
Indeed, these are mainly the types of reform that the IMF and the eurocrats have in mind for Greece when they demand even more austerity for an already dying patient. The aim all along has been to turn Greece into a neoliberal laboratory.
Welcome to the world of the economics of social disaster.

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