Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia-Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (12:38): I, and also on behalf of Senator Rhiannon, move:
That the Senate-
(i) the perilous state of the Greek economy and the misery being endured by many in the Greek community as a result of economic conditions,
(ii) that in May 2010 the Eurozone countries, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched a â¬110 billion bailout that was conditional on implementation of austerity measures, and
(iii) tripartite lenders to Greece are currently demanding further austerity measures, without future debt relief, in order to release the remaining funds from the current lending program agreement; and
(b) calls on the Australian Treasurer (Mr Hockey), a member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF, and Governor of the IMF and the World Bank Group to:
(i) express concern at the continued support by IMF officials for the austerity program for Greece,
(ii) seek the support of other IMF member states for alternative measures that will better address social and humanitarian challenges in Greece, and
(iii) insist the IMF refrain from imposing policy conditions upon Greece which will potentially lead to a default of more than AUD$40 billion debt towards the IMF.
I seek leave to make a brief statement.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator LUDLAM: This motion goes to Australia's ability to alleviate the extraordinary suffering that has been levied against the people of Greece. The dramatic collapse of Greek GDP by more than 25 per cent-
Government senators interjecting-
Senator LUDLAM: This is a serious issue.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order!
Senator LUDLAM: The dramatic collapse of Greek GDP by more than 25 per cent began more than five years ago and it has produced a humanitarian disaster. The minimum wage has shrunk by some 40 per cent and unemployment in Greece has risen, with 25 per cent of people now being unemployed and nearly 60 per cent of all youth being unemployed. The fact is that the collapse of the Greek economy has been almost intentional. It has gone hand in hand with the implementation of the most extreme form of austerity politics that has been prescribed by the troika of lenders: the ECB, the EU and the IMF.
Our Treasurer, Joe Hockey, is a member of the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee. We are asking that the Senate call Mr Hockey and the governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group to ensure that further misery is not visited on the people of Greece.