Stavros Mavroudeas – The Greek budget and the mobilisations against it

  • This is another austerity budget dictated by the EU despite being promoted by the SYRIZA as the first ‘free’ state budget.
  • It places again the burden on the shoulders of the working people and the middle strata while favouring the big Greek and foreign capital.
  • Its main characteristic is the pursue of excessive primary fiscal surpluses (which is an EU requirement in order to secure the repayment of its loans to Greece)
  • These primary surpluses are coming from:
    • excessive taxation especially of the wage-earners and the middle strata
    • severe reduction of public investment (which continues to be the main investment source of the Greek economy)
  • They result in
  • subdued and insecure recovery (after almost 10 years in recession)
  • immiserisation of the working people
  • This budget does not signify the exit from the Greek crisis which is still simmering.
  • There is another feature of this budget. 2019 is an election year. Hence both the main contenders (the neo-liberal ND who is leading the polls and the social-liberal SYRIZA) are trying to present themselves as friends of the people.
  • This is pure shadow-boxing. Both of them follow the same policies (dictated by the austerity programmes of the EU) and both of them serve interests of the big Greek and foreign capital. Their only difference is that they are allied with different fractions of these capitals.
  • ND is overtly neoliberal.
  • SYRIZA on the other hand is hitting hard the working class and the middle strata but afterwards throws back some chicken feed (peanuts, crumbs) to the more impoverished people in order to buy their electoral support.
  • The trade union mobilisations of these days express the anger against these policies and absolutely rightful.

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