Swoboda: "Abolishing the Troikas could be a real victory for the Greek presidency"

Greek presidency 2014

As Greece takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, the College of Commissioners is today in Athens to meet with Greek ministers and participate in the official opening of the presidency.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:

"The European Commissioners and President Barroso, who are in Athens today, should use the opportunity to witness the reality of living conditions in Greece. The brutal austerity enforced by the Troika has plunged almost half the people in Greece below the poverty line.

"The Troikas have failed and nobody has stopped them – because there is no democratic control. This lack of democratic legitimacy is incompatible with European values. We demand that the Troikas and their disastrous policies are phased out and that the European Commission takes full responsibility for any further programmes.

"I congratulate the Greek government on taking over the EU presidency and look forward to fruitful co-operation and progress on many important European issues. I urge the Greek presidency to highlight the reality of the failure of the Troikas – as opposed to the mirage of austerity that some leaders still want to believe in. If the Troikas were abolished during their presidency, this would be a real victory – for Greece and for Europe."