As Greece's creditors descended on Athens this week a meeting was held between the Troika and leaders of Greece’s trade union federation GSEE, leading the GSEE President to slam the austerity program as a disaster imposed by "charlatans and quacks."
Yiannis Panagopoulos, President of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), met with members of the Troika representing the EU, ECB and IMF, in an attempt to reverse measures which slashed wages by 22 percent.
The FT reported Panagopoulos said "The fiscal consolidation programme has failed . . . It had a huge impact on wages and employment levels, but has barely affected prices of goods and services.”
Panagopoulos warned that if further austerity measures are adopted as proposed this week, unemployment could rise to 28 percent. Athens News reported that the union leader released a statement saying the only thing the two sides agreed upon was "the fact that we disagree on everything." He went on to add that the Troika were "charlatans and quacks handing out 'cures' that destroyed and killed the Greek economy and had drastic repercussions on Greek society."
Measures proposed this week by Greek government ministers to facilitate a further €11.5 billion in cuts to placate its creditors, include further cuts in wages and pensions. A leaked proposal to slash expenditure on health care by limiting spending on patients to €1,500 was described by Ekathimerini as a "ludicrous scheme...literally condemning to death people who are not healthy or who are too poor to get sick."