A new study offers more confirmation that the so-called bailout packages the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delivered to Greece primarily served European banks rather than the Greek people.
The study released Wednesday by the Berlin-based European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) analyzed where funds from the two aid bailout deals—received on the condition of imposing harsh austerity measures—since 2010 went.
“Contrary to widely held beliefs,” ESMT states, of the €215.9 billion (roughly $246 billion), less than 5 percent went to the Greek fiscal budget. The other 95 percent of the funds “disbursed to Greece since the start of the financial crisis as loans from the bailout mechanism has been directed toward saving the European banks,” Ekathimerini reports.
Reporting by the German business newspaper Handelsblatt adds, “The aid programs were badly designed by Greece’s lenders, the European Central Bank, the Europe Union and the International Monetary Fund. Their priority, the report says, was to save not the Greek people, but its banks and private creditors.”
“Most of the money was used to actually transfer risks from private creditors to public creditors,” ESMT President Jörg Rocholl told DW Wednesday. “This means money was used to repay the private creditors by taking on more debts that were taken by private creditors.”
The report’s findings echo the charge levied by other economists including Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz and former Greek finance minister for the anti-austerity Syriza party, Yanis Varoufakis.
Speaking to Democracy Now! last week, Varoufakis said, “We had the largest loan in human history. The question is, what happened to that money? It wasn’t money for Greece. It was money for the banks.”
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