The Greek State is reducing its expenditure, as part of financial adjustment measures(1), by way of very drastic cuts in wages and pensions, which is lowering available income below a decent subsistence level and consigning a large proportion of the population to poverty. This intervention merely reinforces the vicious circle of recession in the economy: it is economically and financially ineffectual. The policy also contradicts basic European policies, such as (a) the policy on adequate, safe and sustainable pensions(2), and (b) the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims at reducing poverty and, in the Greek context, seeks by the year 2020 to reduce by about 450 000 the number of people living in poverty(3).
Given that (a) the current policy, for which the Commission bears responsibility, has so far failed to address the reasons for the Greek crisis, focusing unilaterally on a policy of austerity and measures with a high socioeconomic cost for Greek citizens and the European taxpayer, and that (b) pensions in Greece (despite whatever structural problems affected the system) contribute significantly to reducing poverty (by 19 %, according to the latest data)(4), will the Commission say:
Does it accept that its proposals, made through its representative in the Troika, for dealing with the Greek crisis are at odds with basic elements of European policies on combating poverty and providing adequate, safe and sustainable pensions?
Is it prepared to investigate, or has it already investigated, alternatives to harsh measures of unilateral austerity — solutions to the Greek crisis that will combine remedies to the financial problem with socially balanced and targeted measures for ensuring that, among other things, European policies are implemented, especially in connection with adequate, safe and sustainable pensions, and with reducing the number of people living in poverty by 2020 by 450 000, compared to 2009 figures?