“I absolutely disagree with the troika and continue to believe that the policy it imposed on Greece is not only unfair but also entirely illogical. I do not think that this model of social and economic policy should be transferred as supposedly successful to other European countries,” Austrian economist and coordinator of the ‘transform! europe’ network Walter Baier told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) in an interview published on Sunday.
Talking to the ANA’s Antonis Polychronakis, Baier noted that the Greek government was trying to find ways to exercise social policy wherever it could within extremely tight constraints. In this context, Baier said it was right to distribute the one-off welfare package if this helped citizens, even if it was criticised, because “we should help instead of talking”.
Even though Greek citizens expected more from the current government, Baier urged them to consider that “it had tried, on its own, to achieve the best possible result.” He pointed out that the Greek government had been left without support “especially by Europe’s socialdemocrats”. Even European trade unions and social movements had not given adequate support, he added, nor was there international support from other countries.
Baier was in Athens for the European Conference “Inequalities, Neoliberalism and European Integration: Progressive Answers” held in Athens on November 23-25, which was jointly organised by transform! europe and the Nicos Poulantzas Institute.