Bowles: “Troika's overall response to the crisis has lacked transparency and at times credibility”  

 
 
Sharon Bowles, chair of the economics committee 

How successful have the policies of the so-called Troika been in fighting the crisis in the eurozone's most affected countries? A hearing organised by the economic committee on Tuesday 5 November will look into this. Discussions will focus on the situation in Ireland, Cyprus, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Portugal and Italy as well as on the democratic legitimacy of the reforms asked for. We talked about it with committee chair Sharon Bowles ahead of the hearing.

To avoid default, these member states have needed aid from the European Stability Mechanism. The Troika - which consists of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - has been responsible for checking if these countries are carrying out the often painful economic reforms, including budget cuts, needed to remain entitled to this support.


We asked Ms Bowles, a British member of the ALDE group, about the need to review how the Troika has handled the crisis.


Do you think the Troika's policy has helped troubled member states to overcome the debt crisis and recession?


Although there are positive signs in programme countries thanks to the concerted effort of governments and the people, the Troika's overall response to the crisis has lacked transparency and, at times, credibility. Following on from the experience of Cyprus, it is clear that the Troika needs to be more coordinated in its work and its way of working needs to be revised... We cannot have decisions affecting the very heart of a nation made in a dark room in the depth of night with no one taking responsibility for the repercussions. The Troika must be accountable for its decisions and the impact of those decisions on a nation.


Why is this week's hearing necessary and relevant?


This hearing marks the first stage in discussions ahead of our committee's inquiry report into the role and operations of the Troika. MEPs will be given the opportunity to ask ECB and European Commission representatives about the inner workings of the Troika. Unfortunately however the IMF, due to its internal rules, will not participate in the debate despite Parliament's ongoing call for open and transparent discussions with all members of the Troika. This hearing will also discuss breaking the link between banks and sovereigns and how to restore competitiveness and growth with a particular focus on the social impact on programme countries. The economic committee will work hard to ensure that this inquiry report is completed before the end of the mandate.


Follow the meeting by clicking on the link on the right.