Greece’s crushing economic crisis was deliberately caused by former prime minister George Papandreou so he could impose harsh austerity measures, a Washington, D.C.-based Greek journalist has claimed, although he didn’t explain why.
Michael Ignatiu, a correspondent with Greece’s MEGA TV channel, wrote in Epikaira that he believes Papandreou, who is now lecturing at Columbia University in New York while still a sitting Member of Parliament, should be tried for scheming to deliver Greece into the hands of its international lenders.
The Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) is putting up $325 billion in two bailouts to prop up the Greek economy but has insisted on pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions in return.
As Prime Minister, Papandreou began implementing the conditions in 2010, before relentless protests, strikes and riots drove him out of office in November, 2011. Ignatiu said former PASOK Minister Andreas Loverdos, who left the party, which is now headed by Evangelos Venizelos, knew there was a hidden agenda. Loverdos claimed to be against the austerity measures but went along with them, a statement that drew a sarcastic rebuke from his former boss, who also has denied similar claims as Ignatiu’s as nonsense.
The website HellasFrappe wrote Ignatiu claimed “that Papandreou, as well as his close circle of associates realized a tad too late – or around March 2010 – that because of Greece’s participation in the Eurozone, the issue of the IMF was almost prohibitive.”
He went on: “Those who speak, and/or argue that the Europeans, especially the Germans, were the ones who forced Papandreou to seek help from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, are simply throwing dust in the eyes of unsuspecting citizens (who obviously do not know a thing about secret diplomacy like Papandreou does).”
Ignatiu said believes that one of the reasons Papandreou is lashing out at one of his former ministers is so that he can incriminate the members of his then Cabinet, and to a larger extent all the members of PASOK as well.”
He said that Papandreou dragged Greece “barefoot on a bed of thorns,” to the IMF because he lost eight months in trying to seek ways and means to “tie” Greece to the mechanism of an austerity memorandum. Ignatiu insisted that if Papandreou had taken measures right after he was elected in office, Greece would not be in the position it is in today because those measures would have been more tolerable, (and probably even more humane).