EPSU sends solidarity greetings to Greek workers in strike against austerity

(6 November 2013) The ADEDY public sector and GSEE private trade union confederations have called their members out on a 24-hour strike today in protest at the imposition of further austerity measures. EPSU sends it solidarity greetings to both confederations, their members, the workers taking action and all those who have been suffering the effects of the policies of the Troika - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. The latest official figures from the European Commission show that average pay in Greece fell by 16% between 2010 and 2012 and a further fall of 3.5% is expected this year, taking the drop in pay to 19%. Meanwhile, total economic output (GDP) fell by 17.5% between 2010 and 2012 with a further 4% fall this year making the total decline more than a fifth (21%). With public debt now higher than ever - at 176% of GDP - unemployment at 27% and youth unemployment at over 60%, austerity isn't delivering anything for Greece or its people. However, rather than seeking to adjust their policies, the Troika is concerned about the government's 2014 budget and is looking for more cuts in spending and further reductions to the public sector workforce. EPSU deputy general secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said: "The Greek people don't need more austerity, they need to see urgent action to implement the kind of European investment plan that the ETUC has been debating and that will deliver an economic boost to Greece and other economies that have been undermined by austerity." He added: "We also need more transparency and democracy and EPSU welcomes the decision by the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to investigate the work of the Troika." The Committee began its work with a hearing in the Parliament on 5 November. Committee chair Sharon Bowles (UK, Liberal Democrat) said that the Troika's work in bailed-out euro countries "lacked transparency and, at times, credibility," adding that "The Troika must be accountable for its decisions and the impact of those decisions."