Austrian Minister Says Greeks Fell Off Hammocks

Maria Fekter, Minister of Finance for the People’s Party in Austria (OVP), said that Greeks did not properly use the billions of euros they are borrowing from international lenders and raised again the notion they are lazy.

She said Greeks who are now protesting austerity measures “were lying in a hammock, the fell, and now they must get up.” Talking to Austrian Public Television, Fekter said that the economic help Greece has received has saved the country from economic chaos.

She also stated that a pending installment of $38.8 billion will not be given until a report from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) determines if Greece has imposed reforms. She said that would give Greeks the possibility to stand up on their own feet and create a modern state. Otherwise she said, there is no reason why “throwing money in a bottomless barrel” makes any sense.

Referring to reforms already done, she added that while these reforms were voted by the Greek parliament, they were never implemented. Only the pressure from the EU, she said, brought some results. When asked about Greece’s future in the Eurozone she replied that it is an issue that Greeks must decide and implement reforms if they want to stay. She reaffirmed that the EU’s position is to keep Greece in the Eurozone and help the country do the necessary reforms.

Fekter has also served as a Minister of Interior, where she became known for being strict on immigrants and asylum seekers. She defended deportation of immigrants who had found jobs and were integrated in the Austrian society and she was heavily criticized when in 2010 she publicly supported the forced deportation of 8-year-old twins and their father although they were raised in Austria and he was working.

(Source:, Austrian Independent)