At a hearing of the European Parliament, the European TUC presented the results of its own investigations into the activities of the Troika. The Troika consists of officials from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank who are effectively running Governments in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
The report shows that those countries where the Troika has implemented its austerity policies have paid a massive economic and social price.
The ETUC has demanded substantial amendments to the existing austerity and de-regulation programmes (which include attacks on employment rights, social protection and collective bargaining) to ensure that the Troika’s policy of austerity and deregulation cannot be repeated in the future.
The ETUC’s report shows a systematic take over by the Troika of these countries – with their own elected governments and notes that Government’s left with no choice but to implement austerity and the full list of the Troika’s demands.
Troika policy is based, says the report, on the twin pillars of massive fiscal austerity and deregulation of employment rights and collective bargaining systems.
There was little or no respect for social dialogue between employers and unions. The report confirms that the Troika will not listen to trade unions, they only give ‘set responses’ to issues raised by them.
Even worse, in those cases where social partners reached a joint agreement (such as Greece and Portugal), the Troika totally ignored these agreements and pushed through their own reforms.
These reforms weakened or dismantled collective bargaining rights and systems of social protection.
The result of these policies are that the economy, jobs, wages and social protection have declined, unemployment, poverty and inequalities increased.
But, the report points out, Troika policy has been unable even to cap the increase in public debt and to restore to normality financial channels, with credit flows and interest rate spreads remaining constrained in many countries.
The report from the ETUC is based on ETUC affiliates responses to a questionnaire.
Download a copy on the link above.