Yesterday, the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 ORE published an APPEAL TO REVIEW THE GREEK MEMORANDUM I am supporting with some collagues and intellectuals.
Greece is on the brink of the abyss.
The country is facing a recession, unemployment is dramatically high, the political system is at risk of implosion and popular anger is growing. In this context, it is argued by some pundits that Greece should exit the Eurozone. Faced with this risk, we must be clear: an orderly default doe not exist. The Greek exit would be a jump into the void with unbearable consequences, which will weaken our economies and societies for many years. The Greek citizens have already paid for the mistakes of their leaders: the unemployment rate has tripled since 2008, the minimum wage has been reduced by 22%, the real wages and salaries have been cut, the Welfare State has been shrunk and poverty is increasing.
Despite these painful sacrifices, public finances are worsening rapidly: according to the IMF, government debt will hit 160% in 2013, with a 50% increase compared to 2008. Therefore, it is very unlikely that Greece will meet the targets laid down in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Greece and the Troika last March. We should do everything possible to avoid a Greek default. Reviewing the Memorandum should not be a taboo: in particular, we should take into consideration the idea of relaxing the deficit targets for 2013 and 2014. If Greece falls, we all fall. The future of Europe also depends on Greece.
Gianni Pittella, First Vice President of the European Parliament
Anni Podimata, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Luigi Berlinguer, Member of the European Parliament
Harlem Désir, Member of the European Parliament