Factbox: Greek commentaries on debt crisis, austerity

ATHENS (BestGrowthStock) – Greece is on the verge of clinching a 100-120 billion rescue package from its euro zone peers and the International Monetary Fund but must pledge harsh austerity measures to meet the lenders’ demands. On Thursday, labor leaders said Athens was discussing wage cuts, pension reform, tax hikes and public sector job cuts with EU and IMF officials to try to cut its budget deficit by about 24 billion euros, or 10 percent of gross domestic product, by the end of next year.

Following are comments from Greek newspapers on Friday about the proposed austerity measures.

ETHNOS (Liberal daily)

“A nightmare — dramatic and unprecedented cuts in pay for wage earners and pensioners.”

“It’s not only that the party is over, as we have been warned by Brussels since October. The bill we have received is unbearable, much bigger than we expected.”

“We are entering a new and especially difficult period for Greek society. We are called to retroactively pay for mistakes, omissions, shortcomings, exaggerations and opportunities that we were unable to exploit even though they were offered to us.”

ELEFTHEROS TYPOS (Conservative daily)

“Armageddon is coming. The situation caused by speculative mechanisms will be tackled only because the Germans have realized the domino effect that would have followed.”

“But the lenders are setting the terms, and they are incredibly tough. At least for three years they will drink our blood. And this is not an exaggeration.”

TA NEA (Liberal daily)

“The crisis found the Greek economy moving slowly, with internal inflexibility and deficits, which lead from one dead end to the next. Whether it will catch this train, the last one, is a bet we can’t lose.”

KATHIMERINI (Conservative daily)

“Hypocrisy. No one should wonder about anger among the public when it comes to politicians. Even now, under conditions of bankruptcy for the Greek state and a full hiring freeze in the public sector, there are hirings in parliament.”

“Parliament’s president claims he is just implementing a decision by the house’s former leadership. These are silly excuses and show the hypocrisy of politicians.”

IMERISIA (Financial daily)

“Our country built its welfare on borrowed money for many years. Now the lies are over. There is no more borrowing. The prime minister must fight a battle, perhaps the most difficult one since he assumed office, to convince society, citizens and workers that the shock-measures are a necessary one-way street to save the country — not an easy task since even those who are not responsible for the crisis will be called to pay.”

ISOTIMIA (Financial weekly)

“The deal with the troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF) will put us in intensive care for three years. Every tragedy must end with catharsis. The IMF has come to Greece, imposing terms which we accept, unable to do otherwise.”

“And because we live in Greece, where the ancient tragedy was born, we need to find those who brought us to this state, whose pockets were filled with national wealth that was then turned into public debt for Greek society.”

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(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)

Factbox: Greek commentaries on debt crisis, austerity