“The so-called Greek bail-out turns out to be another bail-out for banks and wealthy individuals”
More bizarre details
Moreover, the investigation conducted by ATTAC brought to light several bizarre details of the so-called “Greek bail-out”:
* Several times, EU and IMF reneged on their announcements and withheld promised disbursements by weeks or even months to put pressure on Greek democracy: in autumn 2011 to prevent a referendum on austerity policy; in May/June 2012 to raise the chances of Troika-friendly parties in the national elections. By withholding promised funds, the Troika forces the Greek government to issue short-term bonds to avoid imminent bankruptcy. Since those “treasury bills”, maturing within a few weeks or months, carry a higher interest rate, this actually increases Greek government debt. This serves as further evidence that debt reduction is not the Troika’s main interest, but rather a pretext to push forward the destruction of the welfare state and workers’ rights.
* A tranche of €1 billion disbursed in June 2012 was primarily used to finance Greece’s compulsory contribution to the EFSF-replacement ESM. Thus, the EFSF financed its own successor – yet not directly but by raising Greek government debt.
* Klaus Regling, managing director of EFSF and ESM, has switched between politics and the financial sector numerous times during his career. Before joining the EFSF, he worked in turn for the German government, the hedge fund Moore Capital Strategy Group, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs and the hedge fund Winton Futures Fund Ltd. Regling thus stands as a symbolic example of the intertwining between financial markets and politics which partly explains why the EU’s crisis management policy is primarily aimed at saving the financial sector.
* According to its Annual Accounts, the EFSF’s personnel costs amounted to €3,1 million in 2011. (9) According to media reports, 12 people worked for the EFSF in this year, (10) so an average €258.000 was spent per person. Managing director Klaus Regling allegedly earns €324.000 plus extra pay per year (11). People making these amounts of money supervise the reduction of the Greek gross minimum wage to €580 per month (€510 for youths) (12).