Ei-iE

The functioning of the troika in crisis-hit countries: a new report from ETUC

published 7 February 2014 updated 11 February 2014

New ETUC Report on Troika activities confirms destructive effects in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Based on ETUC investigation into the activities of the Troika of international leaders (EC-ECB-IMF) in selected countries, the Report condemns the takeover operated by the Troika over national elected governments.

Based on ETUC investigation into the activities of the Troika of international leaders (EC-ECB-IMF) in selected countries, the Report condemns the takeover operated by the Troika over national elected governments, forcing the implementation of massive fiscal austerity policies on one side, and the deregulation of wage formation and collective bargaining on the other, disrespectful of social partners agreements. The Report demands a revision of the Troika programmes, to be based on the respect for the foundamental principles of the European Treaty.

The economic and social consequences of the Troika policies are breaching fundamental social rights, the Report says: a strong decline in social expenditure is alarmingly going in parallel with an appalling increase in poverty, unemployment and inequalities. Despite strong trade union protests in the programme countries, the pillars of the welfare state are being dismantling: Education, Health and Social Security. As the Report points out, the expenditure in education in Portugal has decreased from 2010, reaching the bottom line of 3.9 % of GDP in 2014. Alike, rates of youth unemployment and of young people not in employment or education or training (NEET) raised significantly.

Contingent market and time pressures cannot justify the sacrifice of social principles laid down in the Treaty. “ Fundamental principles of the European Treaty are to be respected at all times. The fact that programmes are elaborated under market and time pressure does not change this, on the contrary”, Veronica Nilsson, Confederal Secretary at the ETUC, said at the European Parliament enquiry on the Troika on 27 January 2014.