Here we go again, for the umpteenth time. Greece is pushed into a corner, with the demands of the hawks — led by the IMF and Wolfgang Schauble — who are not satisfied and keep asking for cuts, in an eternal present that seems impossible to leave behind.
This time the International Monetary Fund plays the villain. It is demanding that the Greek Parliament approve preventive measures amounting to €3.6 billion, which would enter into force in case the cuts accepted so far by Athens should prove too “light,” not effective enough.
And of course, this generates two problems, one of a formal nature and a completely practical one. On the one hand, the Greek legislation does not provide options to allow the Parliament to legislate on eventual measures “that may apply in the future,” but only on certain issues. Even so, there is a substantial difference, compared to the Italian safeguard clauses: in the case of the Tsipras government, it is not allowed to include “guarantee” measures within a financial law, but it calls for an ad hoc law.
In addition, from the point of view of citizens, overwhelmed after five years of never-ending austerity, these new measures required by the IMF — if they were to be applied — would lead to new cuts in salaries and pensions of approximately 8 percent of their total amount, in combination with an additional increase of VAT rates. Forcing to close, for example, even the publishers who had so far been able to withstand the crisis, among countless sacrifices.