Life in the EU as torture for Greece continues

By Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos
Ambassador ad honorem
24.4.20

With 92.340 deaths in the EU in the morning of April 24,the organization is still unable to coordinate a policy that would save its people from death,either by the virus or by economic collapse.The EU leaders continue bickering over compromise proposals “beneficial to all sides”while their people continue dying.They are acting in a “business as usual” way,as if nothing is happening.

On April 23 there was the teleconference meeting of the European Council that did not reach any agreement but instructed the European Commission to submit by May 6 a draft plan for combating the recession that is occuring as a result of the coronavirus.This will include more financing on top of the 540 billion euros agreed by the eurogroup.The question remains,however,if the capital that will be included in the proposals of the Commission will be subsidies or loan funds that will further burden the debt of the participant states.This time,time is not money, but lives of the people of the EU.The EU leaders should finally understand that any delay in decision making increases the deaths of their people and they should stop looking for compromise proposals beneficial for all -as they do under normal circumstances-because saving the lives of their people should be the primary objective.

In Greece now,where the memoranda policies obliged the country to privatize 14 airports and selling  them to the partially state owned German Fraport,the company is now asking to delay paying the amount of 44 million euro to the Greek state citing an “unpleasant event”which is anticipated in article 45 of the Agreement between Fraport and the Greek State..Fraport in  2018 had revenues amounting to 414,8 million euros from the 14 airports and is requesting to delay payments of  44 million euros,which at this moment is needed by the Greek Government to support the population of Greece from the negative effects of the coronavirus on its economy.Furthermore the purchase of the airports was made by loans of Fraport from Greek banks.It should be mentioned that the Agreement consists of about 950 pages and was signed in December 2015 by the Ministers of Transport,Finance and Defense,on behalf  of Greece.

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The torture by the austerity measures,recently mentioned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany,continue to torment the people of Greece,as the EU creditors rejected yesterday to extend the legal protection of the primary resident ,which is ending at the end of the month and that could result in that thousands of persons could find themselves on the streets.

In view of this situation and the continuation of the pandemic,the Greek Government must take the following measures if it wants to effectively sustain the people of Greece.

1. It must announce cessation of payments of the yearly installments coming from the memoranda obligations.

2. It must denounce the Fraport Agreement and nationalize the 14 airports.

3. It should announce to the EU creditors that unilaterally it extends the protection of the primary Residence.

  1. It must request from the German Government to pay back to Greece the sum that it owes it from the loan that it imposed upon Greece during the German occupation of 1941-1944 .The sum is estimated to be around 56 billion euros.

If the Greek government is unable or lacks the courage to proceed as above then it must resign and cede its place to a Government of National Unity that will have the courage and the knowledge to proceed to the adoption of the above measures that are indispensable for supporting the people of Greece in these difficult time of the pandemic.