the Troika

Portuguese politics is in limbo. It has been since elections last October failed to give any party an outright majority. The Socialist Party (PS) was eventually able to form a minority government after forming an agreement with forces to its left: the Left Bloc, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Greens. The good news is that this limbo, the thin ice on which this agreement is skating, also presents an opportunity for the left to engage in clear and clean politics with room for actual negotiation.
Activists wave left Bloc flags. Will Portugal finally see the end of the austerity imposed over four years by the right-wing coalition of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre—People's Party (CDS-PP)?
Activists wave left Bloc flags. Will Portugal finally see the end of the austerity imposed over four years by the right-wing coalition of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre—People's Party (CDS-PP)?
SYRIZA pulled off a remarkable victory at the September‭ ‬20‭ ‬Greek election.‭ ‬Although burdened by its acceptance of the draconian austerity measures in the third memorandum imposed by Greece's creditors and eight months of rule in the midst of recession,‭ ‬closed banks and capital controls,‭ ‬SYRIZA's vote fell by only‭ ‬0.88%‭ ‬and its parliamentary seats by just four.
By any logic, Greece's SYRIZA-led government should be sinking in the opinion polls. At the Brussels Eurosummit of Eurozone leaders on July 12, SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a set of draconian preconditions for obtaining a third €86 billion bailout. The decision effectively reversed the opposition to austerity on which SYRIZA was elected in January.
The Greek parliament passed a second bill on July 23 including measures needed for Greece to open negotiations over the eurozone's bailout package of 86 billion euros, TeleSUR English said that day.
Greece's austerity-and-debt-driven crisis has prompted a humanitarian catastrophe. The Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign says half of all young people cannot find work, there is a growing shortage of essential medicines and child malnutrition rates have reached levels not seen since World War II.
Members of the European Parliament show support for Greece against its creditors. "This debate is not exclusively about one country," said the Greece's left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a speech to the European Parliament on July 8. "It is about the future of our common construction."
After Greece voted "no" by a large margin to more brutal austerity, Solidarity4All issued a call for assistance and solidarity on July 7, published below.
Supports of the 'no' vote celebrate in Athens on the night of July 5. Leaders of Latin American left-wing governments have congratulated the Greek government and its people after Greece's historic July 5 referendum. Voters rejected debt austerity proposals by Greece's European lenders. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
Streets in cities across Greece has erupted into celebrations as results from Sunday’s referendum showed voters clearly rejecting the bailout terms put forward by the country’s lenders. With over 91 percent of the votes counted, from nearly 9 million voters, the "No" vote rejecting the bailout terms from European Creditors continues to be well ahead in the polls.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) released figures in April showing the International Monetary Fund had made €2.5 billion of profit out of its loans to Greece since 2010. With Greece missing its June 30, deadline for a €1.6 billion payment to the IMF, the figure fell to €900 billion. But JDC said if Greece repays the IMF in full, the figure will rise to €4.3 billion by 2024.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on June 26 that a referendum will be called over the bailout deal being proposed for the country by Greece's creditors. The deal is pushed by the "Troika" of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. Tsipras called an urgent cabinet meeting earlier that day, and later announced to the press plans for the a referendum on July 5. Citizens will be asked “yes” or “no” to creditors’ proposals. Tsipras has asked the Greek ministerial council to call the referendum.
The debt imposed on Greece and its people by creditors directly infringes the human rights of Greeks and is “illegal, illegitimate and odious”, a preliminary report issued by the Audit Committee on Public Debt declared on June 17. The finding came as talks between Greece and its creditors finished without a deal on June 18. The International Monetary Fund is threatening the near-bankrupt country with default unless it pays the US$1.7 billion it owes by the June 30 deadline.
Thousands protest in Athens against austerity and in support of the SYRIZA government, June 17. Thousands of Greek people took to the streets of Athens on June 17 to reject austerity measures and support the SYRIZA-led government, TeleSUR English said that day.
For a while in late May, it looked as if negotiations over terms for releasing the last €7.2 billion owed to Greece under its second bailout package with the “Troika” of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund might have some chance of success. The commentary from the SYRIZA-led Greek government's negotiators and from its creditors was of “fruitful discussions” and “meaningful progress”. Greek government spokespeople even spoke of reaching an agreement “within a week or two”, at the latest by the June 18 meeting of the eurozone finance ministers.
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