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'There Is No Alternative' to Austerity, Troika Reiterates

Neither high unemployment in the Eurozone nor numerous protests derail IMF, ECB claims that austerity is the only course to take

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

IMF chief Christine Lagarde in an interview with RTS (Screengrab)

Members of the "troika" continue to trumpet austerity as the only way forward despite the massive unemployment and anger at the policies that have catalyzed protests across Europe.

"There is no alternative to austerity," International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde told Swiss broadcaster RTS.

In an interview with the news agency a day after thousands upon thousands marched in European cities against austerity measures, Lagarde defended staying the austerity course, and underscored Germany's success, a country she said was "harvesting the fruits of its policies."

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi continued the refrain this week as well.

Heather Stewart reports at The Guardian that

Draghi urged policymakers to keep faith with austerity amid a fierce debate in Europe about whether crisis-hit countries should be allowed to ease up on their drastic deficit-reduction plans.

"In order to bring debt ratios back on a downward path, euro area countries should not unravel their efforts to reduce government budget deficits and continue, where needed, to take legislative action or otherwise promptly implement structural reforms, in such a way as to mutually reinforce fiscal sustainability and economic growth potential," he said.

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