The statement was obtained by the AFP after the board of the IMF approved the release of new funds to Athens.
Speaking about the the 81 pages of detailed policy reforms and fiscal measures demanded of Greece by the troika (the IMF, ECB and European Commission) in order to secure continued funding, Nogueira Batista said that the country appeared to be the ‘victim of German thoroughness.’
The demands are more than just targets and general guidelines but highly specific prescriptions for the privatization of entities and the deregulation of a wide range of professions ‘from TV technicians to fitness centers,’ according to the AFP.
“In our view, this is nothing more, nothing less than an attempt to run the county from the outside — something that very rarely works in practice,” Nogueira Batista said.
The comments will be seen by critics of the memorandum as further evidence that the troika is riding roughshod over the democratic process in Greece by dictating specific policies to an elected government and parliament which must either comply or face the prospect of an irregular default by the country.
Aside from raising the issue of Greece’s loss of sovereignty over its economic affairs, Nogueira Batista was also critical of the reforms and structural measures being demanded of the country in and of themselves. He noted that only reason that the economic contraction Greece began to slow last year was because the country had not implemented all of the measures demanded of it.
“This seems to indicate that the number of structural measures the Troika has been demanding from Greece is rather excessive.” he said.
He said that any improvement in the country’s economy was, “despite the attempt to overload it with structural conditionality and to extract from the country further fiscal adjustment.”
He noted that the fiscal adjustment had been large and called the return to a primary surplus in 2013 an ‘important milestone’ but said that there was little more that Greece could do on this front.
Now, according to Batista, high unemployment and deflation remained major problems and only according to a ‘very optimistic’ scenario of world economic growth could Greece and the troika avoid the inevitable need for another restructuring of Greece’s debt.