Greece: Troika demands that Athens liquidate arms industry
4 September 2013
On September 3, the EU-ECB-IMF troika rejected a Greek government plan to restructure three companies — Larco (metals), Elvo (vehicles), EAS (defence systems) — which it judged to be “unrealistic, unviable and ineffective." The troika wants a more incisive solution for the loss making and heavily indebted companies, which would force them to file for bankruptcy and lay off workers without severance pay, explains I Kathimerini, whose front-page headline announces "Troika involvement in EAS".
The fate of the companies is “the major bone of contention” in ongoing talks with the troika on the provision of further tranche of financial aid, remarks the business daily, which blames the Greek defence sector’s inability to compete on —
… the swarm of intermediaries that surround military contracts [and the fact that] the country has paid over the market for all the systems it has bought in exchange for vague promises that Greek companies would be involved in their production: one of the biggest swindles ever to come to light in Greece.
Finally, the paper also highlights the role of trade unions and political appointees in the decline of an unproductive arms industry —
Greece never produced anything, and, whenever it attempted to produce something, it was always three times more expensive.