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Via translation from El Pais, Members of European Parliament Accuse Troika of Aggravating Unemployment and Poverty in Rescued Countries
"They could have acted as surgeons, cutting superfluous. Instead they acted like butchers with an ax," says MEP Alejandro Cercas in reference to the policies that the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the troika, that have been implemented in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus, the four Eurozone countries that were forced to request a bailout.Discontent is growing by leaps and bounds. That discontent will play straight into the hands of the euroskeptics in the May election.
The report before the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament adopted on Thursday morning does not use such harsh words, but blames the three agencies-known as the troika for policies that have contributed to the deterioration of the welfare levels in the four countries.
"The extremely difficult economic situation and adjustment policies have led to an increase in unemployment," says the text. MEPs regretted also that these measures "be designed without adequate assessment of their consequences."
The injury count after a long five years of crisis is substantial. The report notes that in 2012 the Greek youth unemployment exceeded 50%, but the latest data this percentage rose beyond 61%. MEPs regret that cuts in social benefits derived from the austerity measures are increasing "levels of poverty."
The report adopted by the committee on Employment, focused on the social consequences of the bailouts.
The European People's Party (the largest party in parliament which includes the CDU) has distanced itself from the conclusions of this report.
But watering down of the content will provoke a confrontation with leftist forces and prevent the Strasbourg plenary approval before the elections next May according to congressional sources.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock