Greece’s leading private sector union says international auditors monitoring Greece’s compliance with its EU-IMF rescue package would have failed their own evaluation.
“Their program has destroyed us, pushing the Greek economy into recession,” Yiannis Panagopoulos, head of the GSEE, an umbrella union with some 700,000 members, said on Friday.
He made the remarks in Athens after meeting with the EU-IMF mission.
Panagopoulos called the auditors “charlatans,” adding, “If (the auditors) were civil servants and had to be evaluated, it is certain that they would have been fired.”
The auditors are inspecting Greece’s finances, and urging the government to fulfill its promises to evaluate the civil service and cut 150,000 state jobs by 2015.
Athens is obligated to make spending cuts of 11.6 billion euros ($14.1 billion) over the next two years in order to keep getting loans.
The money is supposed to be saved by making cuts in pensions, health support and other benefits.
“We told them that if the measures reported in the newspapers are carried out, recession in 2013 will be over 5.5 percent and unemployment could approach 28 percent,” Panagopoulos noted.
GSEE has vowed to present a “dynamic” response against the cuts.
Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fourth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.
One in every five Greek workers is currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.
Greek youths have also been badly affected, and more than half of them are unemployed.
The long-drawn-out eurozone debt crisis, which began in Greece in late 2009 and reached Italy, Spain, and France last year, is viewed as a threat not only to Europe but also many of the world’s more developed economies.
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