Hello I’m Chris Burns and welcome to The Network, where we connect into a matrix of news makers to get to the heart of an issue and watch out, they’ve got to answer in 25 seconds or less, or else.
Let’s take a look at that issue right now.
The Greek streets have been surging with anger as spending cuts and tax increases intensify. Many see the austerity imposed by the EU ECBIMF Troika, as aggrevating the country’s recession. Yet the government is obliged to slash pensions and wages to qualify for the next 8 billion euro bailout.
Without financial help, the Greek government will run out of money which some say could trigger a global financial meltdown. Meanwhile, German’s have been turning against Chancellor Angela Merkel in recent state elections as she grudgingly pays for more bailouts.
Finland is demanding collatorol for any future loans to Greece while others follow.
Aiming to diffuse the criris, the European Union has devised a six pack of measures to enforce fiscal responsibility. These include enforcing fines and sanctions coupled with a call for euro bonds.
A move toward EU economic governance is long overdue. Others fear it is the making of a super state and that Greece should simply default.
Now, wired into this edition of The Network from here in Brussels in the European Parliament is Maria Eleni Koppa, a Greek socialist MEP who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Her party leads the embattlement government in Athens.
From Helsinki we have Alex Stubb, the Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade. He says it is not the European Union that is forcing Greece towards structural changes but the markets.
Also here in Brussels is Carsten Brzeski, Senior Economist at ING who says the ECB’s recent scaling back on government bond purchases is a reality check that shows the central bank is reluctant to intervene on a large scale.