Let us not focus on the current government’s criticism of primary surpluses when it was still in the opposition. It would hardly be its first contradiction.
Yet one must look at what the government does now. The bailout that it signed required a 3.1 billion (1.75 percent of GDP) surplus. In the end, the surplus was 7.4 billion euros (4.2 percent of GDP).
What does that mean? The government imposed on citizens an additional crushing memorandum, to the tune of four billion euros, with unnecessarily greater austerity.
It means that the government chose a policy that overtaxed citizens, in a market that had already dried up and an economy that desperately sought liquidity.
That choice was made at the expense of jobs that could have been created if productive centres of the economy had not been forced to pay the state huge sums in taxes and contributions.
Even worse, this policy was accompanied by the government not paying its debt arrears to the private sector. Even the issuance of new pensions was sacrificed by this policy.
The aim of this economic suffocation is the creation of a post-bailout cushion that the government can use at it wishes to announce social policies for electoral purposes.
However, social policy with hidden memorandums is inconceivable. No cushion can comfort a social body that has suffered so much pain.