Opposition Party Denounces Greek Loan Guarantees
In a statement, the opposition Centre Party attacked Estonia's participation in guaranteeing loans for Greece.
The ruling coalition is due to pass the measure in Parliament, after the Cabinet approved a memorandum of mutual intent between the European Commission and Greece on a second EU/IMF bailout loan.
“Once again, the Estonian Parliament is forced into rubber-stamping decisions agreed on by government officials long ago over dinner,” said Centre MP Rainer Vakra.
The Centre Party charged that, given Estonia's economic situation, it is not reasonable to give richer and less fiscally responsible countries 300 million euros worth of loan guarantees.
“Greece's progress in the last two years has been minimal and we don't think it is fair for the Estonian taxpayer to have to suffer,” said Vakra. “The European Union has for decades taken steps to destroy the market mechanisms and introduce a bizarre planned economy.”
Vakra said the new bailout package won't solve the debt crisis, and will only temporarily calm the markets.
“In reality, the problems will remain unresolved and in a few years, when they reignite, the consequences will be much more drastic,” he said, adding that it is not yet clear whether the austerity measures will actually be implemented, as Greece has parliamentary elections coming up in April.
The main condition contained in the memorandum now before Parliament is that Greece must reduce government debt to 120 percent by 2020. It currently stands at around 162 percent. An austerity plan would cut the number of government sector jobs by 150,000 by the end of 2015 compared to the end of 2010.