European and International Unions call for debt relief for Greece


Commenting on the Greek referendum and its aftermath, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) General Secretary Bernadette Ségol said “Greek people have voted against unemployment, poverty and austerity policies that have made its debt unsustainable. People must not be penalised for the way they voted.”

"EU leaders have an historic responsibility to find a sensible compromise. The decision should not be a technical one or left to the ECB, it must be a political decision.”

"We are at a turning point in EU history. The EU should think hard and long before pushing Greece out of the Eurozone. Now is the moment to show what it means to have a European Union.”
"Austerity and cuts have seriously destabilised Greek society and pushed well over one in three people below the poverty line."

The ITUC called on the creditor institutions– International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, European Commission – to unblock support for the Greek banking system, carry out disbursements on previously agreed loans and engage in serious negotiations with the government for reducing Greece’s unsustainable debt burden. 

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow stated: “The Greek people have clearly understood something that the creditor institutions apparently have not: that intensifying the Troika-imposed austerity policies of the past five years will only prolong the depression. The institutions must end their demands for further cuts in pensions and public services and continued destruction of labour market institutions in return for payments on loans they already approved. Instead, they should support a pro-growth investment and jobs programme in Greece.”

She added: “The IMF’s debt sustainability analysis published last Thursday reiterates what many organisations both in Greece and elsewhere have been saying for years, which is that Greece requires substantial debt relief if the economy is to have any chance of making a sustainable recovery.”