MEPs herald end to troika, look to debt restructuring
Membersof a European Parliament committee investigating the role of the troika and the impact of its policies in Greece yesterday heralded the end of an “interim” institution and underlined the need for debt relief if Greece is to emerge from a spiral of austerity.
Wrapping up a two-day visit to Athens, the seven MEPs said the troika had been “necessary and right” for Greece at the outset but that “irresponsible decisions” had been taken. “We need more transparency, more democratic legitimacy,” Othmar Karas, the conservative Austrian MEP leading the inquiry, told a press conference. French Socialist MEP Liem Hoang Ngoc, declared that there was “no legal basis for the actions of the troika.” “The time of the troika is over,” he said. Hoang Ngoc added that a debt restructuring was all but inevitable, noting that without it, "Greece won’t have the room to maneuver for less austerity." The French MEP also contradicted comments in Parliament on Wednesday by Karas, according to which leftist SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras had failed to come up with any substantial proposals during a meeting in Strasbourg in December. He said Tsipras had offered “a detailed economic and social analysis, as well as policy proposals.” Later Karas appeared to backtrack, saying “I’m not investigating Tsipras, I’m investigating the troika.”