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IMF Debt Report shows Government position impossible to justify - Doherty

15 July, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the IMF report on Greece’s debt shows clearly that politics rather than economics was the driving factor in the EU’s bullying of Greece. Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Michael Noonan now have questions to answer as to how much they knew about the IMF’s figures and why they did not raise the debt issue.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The IMF’s leaked debt sustainability report shows that the Irish Government’s position of no debt relief and crippling austerity for Greece is impossible to justify on economic grounds.  It has been exposed as a cynical, political position aimed at covering for their own failures on debt. That position has now been exposed by the IMF.

“The IMF in a confidential report has said that “the dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date”. Effectively the document amounts to a warning that the IMF will not take part in any EMU-led rescue package for Greece unless Germany and the EMU creditor powers finally agree to sweeping debt relief.  

“According to the report, Greek public debt will spiral to 200% of GDP over the next two years, with the risk that the actual outcome could be even worse. Nobel economist Paul Krugman said the austerity cuts proposed by creditors are macro-economic "madness" in these circumstances.

“Yet the Irish government’s position of ignoring the debt issue for their own narrow political selfish interest has been maintained in the face of the overwhelming economic consensus

“The IMF’s conclusions validate what Greece’s Syriza government has been saying all along - the debt cannot be repaid. Failing to recognise this merely stores up an even bigger crisis down the road.

“This report follows a recent statement by Kenneth Rogoff, Former IMF Chief Economist, who said that Ireland should be among a number of countries "that should receive a significant debt write-down”. If Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny’s interests stretch beyond their own electoral fortunes they must now support the IMF call for a significant debt relief for Greece and for Ireland.”

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