Human Rights Council

Twenty-fifth session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development
Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of
foreign det and other related international financial
oligations of !tates on the full en"oyment of all human
rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights,
Cephas #umina
%ission to &reece '(( ) (* $pril (+,-.


Since May 2010, the Government of Greece has been implementing an economic
adjustment programme as a condition for securing a total financing pacage of !2"0 billion
from the #nternational Monetary $und, the %uropean &ommission and the %uropean &entral
'an( )he programme consists of stringent policy measures that entail deep public
spending cuts, public sector job cuts, ta* increases, the privati+ation of public enterprises
and structural reforms ,including labour maret reforms-, .hich are ostensibly aimed at
reducing the country/s fiscal deficit and debt to a 0sustainable1 level( 2evertheless, the
measures have pushed the economy into recession and generally undermined the enjoyment
of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, in Greece( Significantly,
the public spending cuts and labour maret reforms have resulted in increased
unemployment ,in particular among young people-, homelessness, poverty and social
e*clusion ,.ith appro*imately 11 per cent of the population living in e*treme poverty-, and
severely reduced access to public services, such as health care and education( )he impact
has been particularly severe on the most vulnerable3 the poor, older persons, pensioners,
4 4
5ate submission(
4 44
)he summary is being circulated in all official languages( )he report itself, contained
in the anne* to the summary, is being circulated in the language of submission only(
$dvance Edited 0ersion
;istr(3 General
< March 201"
=riginal3 %nglish
persons .ith disabilities, .omen, children and immigrants(
[English only]
Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of
foreign det and other related international financial
oligations of !tates on the full en"oyment of all human
rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, on
his mission to &reece
Paragraphs Page
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###( )he economic adjustment programme((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( 1<>3: <
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G( =ther rights(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( @:>@A 21
C#( &onclusions and recommendations(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( A0>A3 22
A( Government of Greece((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( A2 23
'( #nternational lenders(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( A3 2"
I3 Introduction
1( $rom 22 to 2< April 2013, the #ndependent %*pert conducted an official visit to
Greece( )he ey purpose of his visit .as to assess the impact of the economic adjustment
programme adopted by the Government of Greece as a condition for financial assistance
from the troia/ comprising the %uropean &ommission, the %uropean &entral 'an and the
#nternational Monetary $und ,#M$- to address the country/s fiscal deficit and debt, on the
reali+ation of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights.
2( )he #ndependent %*pert met .ith senior officials from the Ministries of $oreign
Affairs, 5abour and Social Delfare, $inance, %ducation, 8ealth, ;evelopment, Fustice, and
Bublic =rder and &iti+ens/ Brotection, as .ell as the 8ellenic &oast Guard( 8e also had
meetings .ith members of Barliament ,including those from the main opposition party,
Syri+a- and representatives of the 'an of Greece, the 2ational &ommission for 8uman
9ights, the 2ational =mbudsman, #M$, the %uropean &ommission and the =ffice of the
Gnited 2ations 8igh &ommissioner for 9efugees ,G28&9- in Greece, academics and civil
society organi+ations( 8e also visited t.o volunteer community clinics in Berama and
8ellenio ,Attica-, .hich provide free health care to the needy(
3( )he #ndependent %*pert is grateful to the Government for its invitation and
cooperation during his mission( 8e also e*presses his gratitude to G28&9 for its support,
as .ell as to all those .ho met .ith him(
"( 2evertheless, he regrets the lac of support by Greece and other %uropean Gnion
countries for the mandate in the 8uman 9ights &ouncil, despite the fact that several
%uropean Gnion countries ,including Greece- face obvious challenges in the progressive
reali+ation of economic, social and cultural rights due to the sovereign debt crisis affecting
them and in the conte*t of economic adjustment programmes adopted to address the crisis(
II3 4ramewor5 for analysis6 human rights in the context of
economic ad"ustment
:( Austerity and other economic adjustment policies raise important concerns
regarding the protection of economic, social and cultural rights, because they are often
incompatible .ith the obligation of States to tae steps for their progressive reali+ation and
to avoid deliberate retrogressive measures, in particular those that are incompatible .ith the
core obligations of each right and the duty of States to use all available resources in an
effort to satisfy, as a matter of priority, these minimum obligations(

$3 &reece7s human rights oligations
?( )he &onstitution of Greece sets out a number of human rights obligations of the
State( Article 2,1- underscores that 0respect and protection of the value of the human being
constitute the primary obligation of the State1( Bart ).o of the &onstitution e*plicitly sets
out a number of other obligations of the State, including the protection of property ,art( 1<-H
family, motherhood and childhood ,art( 21(1-H the special care for health ,art( 21,2- and
,3--H the advancement of conditions of employment ,art( 22,1--H and social security ,art(
See %720137@2( See also A789&71<73", paras( 1162"(
22,:--( Carious rights correspond to these obligations, including the rights to eEuality of all
Grees ,art( "-, social, economic and political participation ,art( :-, information ,art( :A-,
petition ,art( 10-, peaceful assembly ,art( 11-, free public education ,art( 1?,2--, property
,art( 1<,2--, health care ,art( 21,3--, .or ,art( 22,1--, social security ,art( 22,:-- and
freedom to unioni+e ,art( 23-( Article 21(" specifies that 0the acEuisition of a home by the
homeless or those inadeEuately sheltered shall constitute an object of special State care1(
Article 2:, paragraph 1 e*plicitly refers to the principle of the .elfare State and
underscores that all public institutions are obliged to ensure the effective implementation of
these rights(
<( )hese provisions are complemented by standards set out in several core international
and regional human rights treaties, including the #nternational &ovenant on %conomic,
Social and &ultural 9ights and the %uropean Social &harter, to .hich Greece is a party(

@( Gnder the #nternational &ovenant on %conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights, Greece
is obliged to reali+e the rights enshrined therein progressively, using its ma*imum available
resources( )his reEuires it to adopt and implement la.s and policies that aim to achieve
incremental improvements in universal access to basic goods and services, such as health
care, education, housing, social security and cultural life( Dhile it does enjoy a 0margin of
appreciation .ithin .hich to set ,its- national, economic, social and cultural policies1,
including during austerity, it has the duty to 0avoid at all times taing decisions .hich
might lead to the denial or infringement of economic, social and cultural rights1(

A( )he &ommittee on %conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights has emphasi+ed that
austerity and other adjustment policies adopted by States in times of economic crisis must
comply .ith obligations derived from the &ovenant( #n particular, any measure that could
impede the progressive reali+ation of economic, social and cultural rights must ,a- be
temporary and restricted to the period of crisisH ,b- strictly necessary and proportionateH ,c-
not be discriminatory and tae into account all possible alternatives, including fiscal
measures, to ensure the necessary measures to mitigate ineEualities that may arise in times
of crisisH and ,d- identify the minimum core content of the rights enshrined in the &ovenant,
or a social protection floor, as developed by the #nternational 5abour =rgani+ation ,#5=-,
and ensure the protection of this core content at all times(

10( #n addition, States bear the burden of establishing that austerity measures have been
introduced only after the most careful consideration of all other less restrictive alternatives(
States cannot therefore justify austerity measures simply by referring to the need to achieve
fiscal discipline and savingsH they need to sho. .hy the austerity measures .ere necessary
for the protection of the totality of the rights provided for in the &ovenant(

11( #t is notable that the Guiding Brinciples on foreign debt and human rights also
underscore that States should ensure that their rights and obligations arising from e*ternal
Greece is not a party to the #nternational &onvention on the Brotection of the 9ights of
All Migrant Dorers and Members of )heir $amilies, the #nternational &onvention on the Brotection
of Bersons from %nforced ;isappearance, the =ptional Brotocols to the #nternational &ovenant on
%conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights, and the &onvention on the 9ights of the &hild on a
communications procedure(
See the letter dated 1? May 2012 addressed by the &hairperson of the &ommittee on
%conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights to States parties to the #nternational &ovenant on %conomic,
Social and &ultural 9ights, available from
Social Brotection $loors 9ecommendation, 2012 ,2o( 202-(
%720137@2, para( 1@(
#bid(, para 1?( See also %7&(127200171, para( 10(
debt agreements or arrangements do not hinder the progressive reali+ation of economic,
social and cultural rights(
93 The oligations of &reece7s international lenders
12( #t is increasingly accepted that non6State actors, including international financial
institutions, have obligations to ensure that their policies and activities respect international
human rights standards(
)his obligation implies a duty to refrain from formulating,
adopting, funding, promoting or implementing policies and programmes that directly or
indirectly impede the enjoyment of human rights(

13( #t is also .ell established that States must adhere to their international la.
obligations .hen they act through international organi+ations(
Moreover, an important
element of the duty of international cooperation as reflected in the &harter of the Gnited
2ations and binding international human rights treaties is that States parties, individually or
through membership of international institutions, should not adopt or promote policies or
engage in practices that imperil the enjoyment of human rights(
1"( #n circumstances .here countries are constrained to implement adjustment
programmes involving austerity, it should be ensured that efforts to protect the most basic
economic, social and cultural rights are, to the ma*imum e*tent possible, factored into such
programmes and policies(
1:( #n tacit recognition of their role in relation to adjustment programmes, the
&ommittee on %conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights has urged international financial
institutions to pay enhanced attention in their activities to respect for economic, social and
cultural rights, including through the e*plicit recognition of these rights, assisting in the
identification of country6specific benchmars to facilitate their promotion, and facilitating
A789&720723, anne*, para( 1?(
See for e*ample Andre. &lapham, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State-Actors
,=*ford, =*ford Gniversity Bress, 200?-, pp( 13<61:AH &( 5umina, 0An assessment of the human
rights obligations of the Dorld 'an and the #nternational Monetary $und .ith particular reference to
the Dorld 'an/s #nspection Banel1, Journal for Juriical Science, vol( 31, 2o( 2 ,200?-, pp( 10@6
12AH 9oberto ;aNino, 05egal =pinion on 8uman 9ights and the Dor of the Dorld 'an1, Dorld
'an, 2< Fanuary 200?, para( 2:H August 9einisch, 0)he &hanging #nternational 5egal $rame.or for
;ealing .ith 2on6State Actors1, in B( Alston ,ed-, Non-State Actors an Human Rights ,=*ford,
=*ford Gniversity Bress, 200:-H Mac ;arro., !et"een #ight an Shao"$ the %orl !an&' the
(nternational )onetary *un an (nternational Human Rights #a" ,=*ford, 8art Bublishing, 2003-H
Sigrun Sogly, +he Human Rights Obligations of the %orl !an& an the (nternational )onetary
*un ,5ondon, &avendish, 2001-H Bhilippe Sands and Bierre Olein, !o"ett,s #a" of (nternational
(nstitutions, fifth edition ,5ondon, S.eet and Ma*.ell, 2001-, pp( ":@6":A( See also the Guiding
Brinciples on foreign debt and human rights ,A789&720723, anne*-, para( A, and the Guiding
Brinciples on 'usiness and 8uman 9ights ,A789&71<731, anne*-(
A789&720723, para( A(
See for e*ample %aite an -enney . /ermany, Application 2o( 2?0@37A", %uropean
&ourt of 8uman 9ights, Grand &hamber Fudgement of 1@ $ebruary 1AAA, para( ?<H )athe"s .
0nite -ingom, Application 2o( 2"@337A", %uropean &ourt of 8uman 9ights, Grand &hamber
Fudgement of 1@ $ebruary 1AAA, para( 32H Dillem van Genugten, 0)ilburg Guiding Brinciples on
Dorld 'an, #M$ and 8uman 9ights1, in Dillem van Genugten, Baul 8unt and Susan Mathe.s
,eds(-, %orl !an&' ()* an Human Rights ,2003-, pp( 2"<62::H A7&2("7:?"7Add(2H and the
Maastricht Guidelines on Ciolations of %conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights ,%7&(1272000713-, para(
&ommittee on %conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights, General comment 2o( 2, para A(
See also General comment 2o( " ,right to adeEuate housing-H General comment 2o( 12 ,right to
food-H General comment 2o( 1: ,right to .ater-H General comment 2o( 1@ ,right to .or-, paras( 30
and :3H General comment 2o( 1A ,social security-, paras( :@ and @36@"(
the development of appropriate remedies for responding to violations, and to use social
safety nets to protect the poor and vulnerable in the conte*t of adjustment programmes(

1?( #n Greece, the %uropean Gnion, the %uropean &entral 'an and #M$ play an
important role in the design and monitoring of the measures under the country/s adjustment
programme ,see paragraphs 2" and 2: belo.-( #t may therefore be contended that these
institutions have a duty to respect the human rights of that country/s population by ensuring
that the programme does not undermine the capacity of the Government to establish and
maintain the conditions for the reali+ation of human rights, including by assuring eEuitable
access to basic public services(

III3 The eeconomic ad"ustment programme
$3 9ac5ground

1<( #n the mid61AA0s, the economy of Greece started to boom as the Government
borro.ed large amounts from %uropean bans to finance its imports, including military
from countries such as Germany( )his process intensified .ith the adoption of
the euro in 2001( )he Government also borro.ed e*tensively to fund the 200" =lympics
1@( )he Government used its enhanced access to cheap credit ,as a member State of the
%uropean Monetary Gnion, or euro +one- to fund public spending and offset the country/s
lo. ta* revenues(
#t also borro.ed to pay for imports that .ere not offset by tariffs or
e*ports( As a result, and despite annual gross domestic product ,G;B- averaging
"(: per cent in the period from 2000 to 200<, revenue declined substantially .hile the
budget and trade deficits increased(
1A( Didespread corruption, .ea ta* administration and ta* evasion also put a strain on
public finances(

20( )o eep .ithin the euro +one guidelines, previous Governments had, for many years
and .ith the help of foreign bans, also misreported the national economic statistics, as did
%7&(1271AA@72?, para( :1:(
#t should be noted the %uropean Gnion and the %uropean &entral 'an are bound by
the &harter of $undamental 9ights of the %uropean Gnion, .hich enshrines economic and social, as
.ell as civil and political, rights(
$or a discussion of the bacground to the debt crisis, see Fubilee ;ebt &ampaign, #ife
an ebt$ /lobal Stuies of ebt an resistance, =ctober 2013, available from
http377jubileedebt(org(u7.p6content7uploads7201371075ife6and6debtI$inal6versionI10(13(pdfH #M$,
0Greece3 %* Bost %valuation of %*ceptional Access under the 2010 Stand6'y Arrangement1, #M$
&ountry 9eport 2o( 1371:?, Fune 2013 ,available from
...(imf(org7e*ternal7pubs7ft7scr720137cr131:?(pdf-, pp( :6<H 9ebecca M( 2elson, Baul 'elin and
;ere %( Mi*, 0Greece/s ;ebt &risis3 =vervie., Bolicy 9esponses, and #mplications1, &ongressional
9esearch Service 9eport for &ongress, 1@ August 2011, available from
...(fas(org7sgp7crs7ro.79"11?<(pdfH and 9onald Fanssen, Greece and the #M$3 Dho %*actly is
'eing SavedJ, &enter for %conomic and Bolicy 9esearch, Fuly 2010, pp( 162(
'et.een 2000 and 200<, military spending reached 3 per cent of G;B > the highest in
2icole #tano, 0As =lympic glo. fades, Athens Euestions P1: billion cost1, 1hristian
Science )onitor, 21 Fuly 200@( Available from ...(csmonitor(com7Dorld7200@70<217p0"s016
2elson, 'elin and Mi*, 0Greece/s ;ebt &risis1 ,see footnote 1:-, p( 3(
Fanssen, Greece and the #M$ ,see footnote 1:-, p( 1(
a number of other %uropean Governments( #n early 2010, it emerged that, .ith the help of
Goldman Sachs, FB Morgan &hase and other bans, specific derivatives .ere developed so
that the actual level of debt and deficits could be hidden and Greece could gain entry into
the euro +one(

21( )he global financial crisis of 200@ had a profound impact on tourism and shipping,
t.o of the country/s largest industriesH in 200A, revenues san by 1: per cent(
#n this
conte*t, lending to the country increased to help cope it .ith the impact of ta*
revenues and the need for higher government spending(

22( #n =ctober 200A, the elected Government of George Bapandreou revealed that
that previous Governments had been underreporting the budget deficit( )he ne.
Government revised the overall fiscal deficit for 200A from : per cent to 13(: per cent of
G;B ,and subseEuently to 1:(? per cent-( )he figure for Government debt at the end of
200A .as also revised from !2?A(3 billion ,113 per cent of G;B- to !2AA(< billion ,130 per

23( $rom 2ovember 200A, Greece suffered several speculative .aves, raising the
interest rate on sovereign debt to prohibitively high levels( )he deteriorating fiscal results
led to do.ngrades of Government bonds by credit rating agencies in late April 2010( #n
effect, this curtailed the State/s access to the international financial marets( )o avoid
defaulting on its debt, Greece turned to the %uropean Gnion and #M$ for financial
93 The ailout programme
2"( #n May 2010, Greece agreed a !110 billion loan at maret6based interest rates .ith
the %uropean &ommission, the %uropean &entral 'an and #M$(
)he loan .as conditional
on Greece implementing an economic adjustment programme entailing !30 billion of fiscal
cuts over the period 20106201"( )he programme, .hich had the t.o broad objectives of
maing fiscal policy and the fiscal and debt situation sustainable, and improving
consisted of three main components3 the implementation of austerity
measures to restore the fiscal balanceH the privati+ation of State assets .orth !:0 billion by
the end of 201:, to eep the debt sustainableH and implementation of structural reforms to
improve competitiveness of the economy and prospects(

See for e*ample 'eat 'al+li, 0Gree debt crisis3 ho. Goldman Sachs helped Greece
to mas its true debt1, Spiegel Online (nternational, @ $ebruary 2010, available from
8arris A( Samaras, 0Greece unliely to escape its .orst financial crisis of modern
timesQ1, Bytheas Maret $ocus, Fuly 200A ,available from ...(pytheas(net7docs7200A0<2"6Greece6
unliely6to6escape6its6.orst6financial6crisis6of6modern6times(pdf-, p( 2(
'y early 2010, $rench, German and 'ritish bans had lent more than !<0 billion to
%ven before the statistics .ere revised, Greece had e*ceeded during the period 20006
2010, the euro +one stability criteria, .ith the annual deficits e*ceeding the ma*imum limit of 3 per
cent of G;B and the debt level significantly above the limit of ?0 per cent of G;B(
#M$ .as to provide !30 billion under a stand6by arrangement, .hile euro +one
countries .ould provide !@0 billion(
#M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 1371:"
,...(imf(org7e*ternal7pubs7ft7scr720137cr131:"(pdf-, p( :( See also #M$, Greece3 9eEuest for Stand6
'y Arrangement, #M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 107111, May 2010 ,available from
...(imf(org7e*ternal7pubs7ft7scr720107cr10111(pdf-, p( "(
)hese measures .ere outlined in a memorandum of understanding that has been
updated several times( See %uropean &ommission, 0)he Second %conomic Adjustment Brogramme
for Greece > )hird 9evie., Fuly 20131 ,available from
2:( )he loan .as to be disbursed in several instalments from May 2010 until Fune 2013( to the .orsening recession, ho.ever, in =ctober 2011, the State/s %uropean partners
agreed to provide it .ith a second bailout loan of !130 billion( )his .as conditional not
only on the implementation of another austerity pacage ,together .ith the privati+ation
and structural reforms outlined in the initial programme-, but also a restructuring of all
Gree public debt held by private creditors ,appro*imately :@ per cent of total public debt-
so as to reduce the overall public debt burden by about !110 billion( Gnder this debt
restructuring ,no.n as 0Brivate Sector #nitiative1, or BS#R- creditors .ere ased to accept interest rates and a :3(: per cent face value loss(
2?( According to information available to the #ndependent %*pert, appro*imately 1:,000
Gree families holding Government bonds .ere included in the Brivate Sector #nitiative
.ithout their consent(
At current maret prices, their bonds have less than 30 per cent of
their nominal value(
2<( )he #ndependent %*pert is concerned at allegations that, .hen purchasing their
bonds, some Gree investors .ere misled by ban personnel .ho failed to adhere to the
Marets in $inancial #nstruments ;irective ,Mi$#; ;irective 200"73A7%&-( 8e also
received information that other bondholders relied on representations contained in official
%uropean Gnion and %uropean &entral 'an documentation as, .ell as statements made by
public institutions, namely the 'an of Greece and the Bublic ;ebt Management Agency,
on the State/s economic health(
2@( )he #ndependent %*pert is also concerned that the ne. maturity period for the bonds
,30 years- may be too long for some older individual bondholders, .ho do not e*pect to
live long enough to enjoy the return on their investment( $urthermore, some of the
bondholders .ho invested a substantial amount of savings in bonds that they understood to
be relatively safe investments for their retirement, or had planned to fund their o.n health6
care needs or care of disabled family members from these savings, are e*periencing serious
financial hardship, particularly against the bacdrop of severe cuts to pensions and other
social benefits( 8e therefore urges the Government to address urgently the plight of these
investors, particularly the elderly, to investigate fully the claims that public employees
misled bondholders, and to tae appropriate action against those found to have done so(
C3 $usterity measures
2A( Gnder the adjustment programme, the Government committed to implement
rigorous austerity measures to bring the deficit do.n to 3 per cent of G;B by 201"( #n
addition to increases in value6added6ta* rates, the measures included reducing public sector
jobs by 1:0,000 through 201:, a recruitment free+e in the public sector, reduction of public
sector .ages, raising the retirement age, cuts in social benefits amounting to 1(: per cent of
G;B ,elimination of pension bonuses, a nominal pension free+e and the introduction of
means testing for unemployment benefits-, eliminating bonuses and allo.ances, and cutting
investment spending( )he Government has committed to further spending cuts over the
fiscal period 201371"(
http377ec(europa(eu7economyIfinance7publications7occasionalIpaper720137pdf7ocp1:AIen(pdf-, pp(
)his .as possible because 5a. "0:072012 reEuired that a majority of bondholders
convene and that a 0super majority1 agree to tender their bonds for e*change and accept amendments
to their terms(
Memorandum of understanding, 21 ;ecember 2012
,...(imf(org7e*ternal7np7loi720127grc7122112(pdf-, pp( 1<61A(
=3 Privati>ation
30( A ey component of the adjustment programme is the sale of State6o.ned
enterprises and assets in order to contribute to the reduction of the public debt(
#t .as
initially assumed that !:0 billion .ould be generated through the privati+ation process by
the end of 201:( )he privati+ation programme has not, ho.ever, been as successful as
anticipatedH for e*ample, revenues generated by the end of 2012 amounted to only !1(?
billion, and proceeds in 2013 .ere 0belo. e*pectations1( )he target has therefore been
reduced to !2"(2 billion by 2020(
31( )he #ndependent %*pert is concerned that several of the enterprises targeted for
privati+ation provide essential public services, such as .ater and sanitation, transportation
and energy, and that there is a lielihood of a significant increase in user fees for the
services offered by these entities after privati+ation, .ith a potential negative impact on the
enjoyment of basic rights( &onseEuently, he considers that privati+ation should be
undertaen cautiously and .ith sensitivity to the rights of the population(
32( $urthermore, if the intention is to raise funds to pay do.n the debt, the decision to
privati+e the Gree national lottery, one of the most profitable in the .orld, may be called
into Euestion(
E3 !tructural reforms
33( )he adjustment programme includes several 0structural reforms1 aimed at boosting
competitiveness and enabling Greece to emerge from the crisis Euicly( )hese include
moderni+ing public administration by reorgani+ing recruitment proceduresH liberali+ing
tradeH opening up regulated professionsH ensuring greater labour maret 0fle*ibility1 to
reduce labour entry and e*it costsH strengthening the anti6corruption frame.orH and
improving the business environment through by addressing inefficiencies in the judicial
3"( Since 2010, a series of labour maret reforms ,la.s "01A72011, 3AA?72011,
3A@?72011, "02"72011 and "0:272012- have been implemented .ith the professed aim of
increasing the competitiveness of the economy and boosting prospects( Specific
measures include labour cost reduction and encouraging employment through the repeal of
allo.ances and benefitsH reduction of the time of notification of dismissals ,5a.
3@?372010-H maing collective bargaining 0more fle*ible1, including by .aiving the so6
called 0principle of favourability1 in collective bargaining, and firm6level agreements
taing precedence over any other favourable collective ,sectoral or professional- agreement
,5a. 3@AA72010-H introducing fle*ible forms of employment by e*tending the ma*imum
duration of successive fi*ed6term contracts from t.o to three years ,5a. 3A@?72011-H and
reduction of the monthly minimum .age in the private sector by 22 per cent for .orers
over 2: years and by 32 per cent for those under 2: ,5a. "0"?72012-(
3:( )he above6mentioned measures may .ell violate the standards set out in the treaties
to .hich Greece is a partyH for e*ample, the %uropean &ommittee of Social 9ights of the
&ouncil of %urope has held that the reduced minimum .age for employee under 2: years
violates the right to a fair remuneration in article " ,1- of the %uropean Social &harter, as it
provides a minimum .age belo. the poverty level(

)he programme is overseen by the 8ellenic Asset ;evelopment $und, .hich includes
representatives of the %uropean Gnion and #M$(
See &omplaint 2o( ??72011, ;ecision on the Merits, 23 May 2013, available from
I03 =et sustainaility
3?( According to #M$, Greece/s public debt .as e*pected to pea at around 1<? per
cent of G;B in 2013
before declining to 12" per cent in 2020 and 0substantially belo.
110 per cent of G;B in 20221(
#n Fune 2013, gross e*ternal debt .as estimated at 233 per
cent of G;B but .as e*pected to pea at around 2"0 per cent of G;B during the same year,
then decline to around 1": per cent in 2020(
2et e*ternal debt .as projected to fall from
appro*imately 130 per cent of G;B in 2012 to around <: per cent in 2020(

3<( )hese projections are based on the assumption that the Government .ill be able to
maintain a primary surplus of " per cent in the long run, generate about !22 billion from
privati+ation through 2020, and continue to rely on official loans at relatively lo. interest
#t is also based on the assumption that the economy .ill start to gro. from 201" and
that Greece .ill secure additional contingent debt relief of about " per cent of G;B from its
%uropean partners, to be determined in 201"71:( )hese projections appear, ho.ever, to be
overly optimistic( #ndeed, it is evident that #M$ has consistently underestimated the loss of
G;B for Greece, lo.ering its projections by ?(A per cent since its first revie. of the stand6
by arrangement in September 2010( #n Fune 2013, #M$ admitted that it had underestimated
the impact of austerity measures on the country/s economy and debt sustainability(
$urthermore, failures .ith the privati+ation programme > the trend to date > .ould also
raise the debt6to6G;B ratio(
3@( Significantly, Greece/s debt, as #M$ has acno.ledged, is liely to remain high
0.ell into the ne*t decade1(
#t is also notable that its e*ternal debt burden, particularly on
short6term maturities, is significant( Government annual e*ternal debt payments are
estimated at !23 billion ,2A per cent of revenue and "2 per cent of e*ports-(
3A( $rom a human rights vie.point, the #M$ debt sustainability assessment has
limitations( #t is too focused on debt repayment capacity( As the #ndependent
%*pert has stressed on previous occasions, debt sustainability analyses should include an
evaluation of the level of debt that a country can carry .ithout undermining its capacity to
fulfil its human rights obligations(
=ther estimates put public e*ternal debt at 1@0 per cent of G;BH see for e*ample
Fubilee ;ebt &ampaign, #ife an ebt ,see footnote 1:- p( 11H and %conomist #ntelligence Gnit,
&ountry 9eport3 Greece, 5ondon, Fuly 2013, available from ...(eiu(com7$ile8andler(ash*J
#M$, Greece3 $ourth 9evie. under the %*tended Arrangement under the %*tended
$und $acility, and 9eEuest for Daivers of Applicability and Modification of Berformance &riterion >
Staff 9eportH Staff StatementH Bress 9eleaseH and Statement by the %*ecutive ;irector for Greece,
#M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 1372"1, Fuly 2013 ,available from
...(imf(org7e*ternal7pubs7cat7longres(asp*JsK"0@3@(0-, p( ?"( See also #M$ &ountry 9eport 2o(
1371:", p( "A( Greece/s public debt6to6G;B ratio rose from 1"3 per cent in 2010 to 1?: per cent in
2011( )his indicates that, despite declining budget deficits, G;B .as insufficient to support a
decline in the debt6to6G;B ratio during that period(
#M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 1372"1 ,see footnoteabove-, p( ?<(
#bid, p( ?3(
See #M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 1371:? ,see footnote1:-(
Although the adjustment programme assumed large revenues from privati+ation
,about 1: per cent of G;B bet.een 201062011 and 22 per cent of G;B by 201<-, there has been little
forthcoming from privati+ation since 2010(
#M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 1371:3 ,available from
...(imf(org7e*ternal7country7G9&7inde*(htmJtypeK"2-, p( 23(
Fubilee ;ebt &ampaign, #ife an ebt ,see footnote 1:-, p( 11(
See A789&72373<, para( "1 and A7?:72?0, para( 33(
03 Impact of the ad"ustment programme on human rights
"0( )he economic and social costs of the adjustment programme have been substantial(
)he economy remains in recession .hile output has fallen by nearly 2: per cent since

"1( )he measures implemented as part of adjustment, in particular the job cuts, and cuts
to .ages and pensions, have had the overall effect of compromising the living standards of
the population and the enjoyment of human rights( According to the 2ational =mbudsman,
0the drastic adjustments imposed on the Gree economy and society as a .hole have had
dramatic conseEuences on citi+ens, .hile vulnerable groups increase and multiply1(
#n a
similar vein, the 2ational 8uman 9ights &ommission observed a 0rapid deterioration in
living standards coupled .ith the dismantling of the .elfare State and the adoption of
measures incompatible .ith social justice, .hich are undermining social cohesion and

"2( )he burden of adjustment does not appear to be shared fairly,
and the impact has
been particularly severe for the most vulnerable sectors of the population3 the poor, older
persons, pensioners, .omen, children, people .ith disabilities and immigrants(
"3( to space limitations, the #ndependent %*pert .ill only highlight the impact of
the adjustment programme on the rights to .or, social security, health, education and
adeEuate housing, as .ell as its contribution to poverty and social e*clusion(
$3 ?or5
""( =ne of the most profound conseEuences of the adjustment programme has been the
e*ponential rise in unemployment( Gnder the programme, the Government committed to
cut 1:0,000 public sector jobs ,about 22 per cent of public employment- by 201:( Some
@0,000 to 120,000 public sector .orers had already lost their jobs at the time of the
#ndependent %*pert/s visit( As a result, unemployment gre. from <(3 per cent in Fune 200@
to 2<(A per cent in Fune 2013,
the highest in the %uropean Gnion ,see figure belo.-( )here
are around 1(" million unemployed people in GreeceH about <<@,000 persons lost their jobs
during the period 201062013 alone(

$urther lay6offs in the public sector are planned( South
unemployment reached an unprecedented rate of ?"(A per cent in May 2013 ,compared .ith
an average of 2"(" in the euro +one-(
)hus, the prospects of a significant part of the
#M$ &ountry 9eport 1372"1 ,see footnote 32-, p( "(
Although #M$ is projecting economic for 201", this is due to a !<(: billion
,2(< per cent of G;B- stimulus programme involving high.ay construction approved by the
Barliament of Greece in ;ecember 2013, not because of the adjustment programme( Most of the
financing .ill come from %uropean Gnion grants, and .ill not therefore add to State debt(
Gree =mbudsman, 2011 Annual 9eport, %nglish summary, ,available from
...(synigoros(gr7resources7ee20116englishItranslation6final(pdf-, p( "(
2ational &ommission for 8uman 9ights, Annual 9eport 2011 ,available from
11(pdf-, pp( <16<2(
See #M$, &ountry 9eport 2o( 1371:: ,available from
...(imf(org7e*ternal7country7G9&7inde*(htmJtypeK"2-, p( 1@(
8ellenic Statistical Authority, 5abour $orce Survey Fune 2013, press release, 12
September 2013,available from
8ellenic Statistical Authority, 5abour $orce Survey May 2013, press release, @
August 2013(
population to access the job maret and for securing an adeEuate standard of living have
been compromised(
":( #n addition, the labour maret reforms under the adjustment programme have
undermined the reali+ation of the right to .or( )ogether .ith successive .age cuts and ta*
hies, the reforms have failed to achieve the stated goal of promoting secure and
employment( &onversely, they have resulted in massive lay6offs, a deterioration in labour
standards, increased job insecurity and .idespread precariousness, .ith over6fle*ible lo.6
paid jobs, .here .omen and young people are predominant( )he minimum .age has been
pushed belo. poverty thresholds and has, to a large e*tent, lost its function as a tool for
poverty alleviation(
#n addition, more than 120,000 professionals > including doctors,
engineers and scientists > have emigrated since 2010(
"?( #t may be contended that this situation is at odds .ith the obligation of the State
under article 22,1- of the &onstitution to protect the right to .or and to create conditions
of employment for all citi+ens(
)he reduction of the national minimum .age by 32 per cent to !"2?(?" for .orers
belo. 2: years violates their right to a fair remuneration, given that it should be above the poverty
line in any given country defined at :0 per cent of national average .age, and that the
minimum .age for young .orers violates the principle of non6discrimination( See &ouncil of
%urope, &ommittee of Ministers, 9esolution &M79es&hS,2013-3 ,;oc(jspJ
See 0'rain drain3 120,000 professionals leave Greece amid crisis1, Spiegel Online
(nternational, 10 Arpil 2013( Available from
@nemployment rate in per cent 'Aune (++; to Aune (+,-.
Source3 %urostat
"<( As the figure above sho.s, the crisis has had a disproportionate impact on .omen(
)he rate of unemployment among .omen, currently estimated at 31(A per cent, is <
percentage points higher than that for men(
#n addition, there has been a strong increase in
involuntary part6time .or since 200@, in particular among .omen( Some ?1 per cent of all
part6timers did not choose this status, an increase of 1? per cent(

"@( According to the =mbudsman, there have been an increasing number of complaints
relating to unfair dismissal due to pregnancy, indicating increased pressures on .omen to
turn to unpaid .or or the informal economy, thereby compounding ineEualities(
"A( )he economic crisis has also contributed to rising tensions in the informal sector,
.here a significant number of the estimated "<0,000 irregular migrants are employed(
)hese individuals face the ris of e*posure to e*ploitative labour conditions( )hey also lac
protection, as they have little access to legal redress mechanisms to fear of being
detected by the authorities, detained and ultimately deported( )he shooting of 33 migrant
.orers at a stra.berry farm in Manolada in April 2013 a labour dispute
underscores the gravity of the problem(
#bid( #n Fune 200@, the difference .as ?(1 per cent(
%)G#, !enchmar&ing %or&ing Europe 2345 ,'russels, %)G# aisbl, 2013-, pp(12 and
See Gree =mbudsman, Gender and 5abour 9elations, Special 9eport 2011,
e*ecutive summary, available from ...(synigoros(gr7resources7docs7e*ecutiveIsummary(pdf(
See A789&7237"?7Add(:, para( "(
:0( )he #ndependent %*pert commends the Government for the measures it has taen to
e*pand employment and training programmes( )hese include the youth internship and
employment voucher programme, .hich supports si*6month vocational training and
internships for ":,000 beneficiaries(
8e considers it unliely, ho.ever, that these
measures can, against the bacdrop of the deep reforms to the labour maret, provide a
sustainable solution to the country/s profound youth unemployment problem or provide
opportunities for decent .or in line .ith international standards(
93 !ocial security
:1( Significant spending cuts under the adjustment programme have affected a range of
benefits, including unemployment benefits, pensions and family benefits(
)o compound
the problem, there are significant delays in issuing pension decisions, paying pensions and
benefits and interpretative problems in the implementation of ne. pension legislation(

:2( to the rise in long6term unemployment, only a fraction of all registered
unemployed persons receive benefits ,2< per cent as at $ebruary 2013-( Moreover,
unemployment benefits e*pire after 12 months, resulting in the loss of public health
insurance cover( Many young people are not eligible for support because they have never
had a job and have not paid the reEuired national insurance contributions(
:3( )he #ndependent %*pert notes that a modified assistance scheme to be introduced as
of 1 Fanuary 201" .ill e*pand unemployment support to all long6term unemployed persons
belo. retirement age( )hose .ith a family income belo. !10,000 .ill be entitled to
monthly assistance of !200 per month( 2evertheless, he is of the vie. that this may be
insufficient to protect the individuals concerned and their dependants from falling into
poverty( #t should be noted that the number of people living in jobless households increased
from around ?00,000 in 200A to about 1("@ million during the first Euarter of 2013, .hile
the number of children living in such households gre. even faster from A3,3<: in 200A to
2<<,1"A in the first Euarter of 2013(

:"( &onsecutive cuts have reduced pensions by up to ?0 per cent ,for higher pensions-
and bet.een 2: and 30 per cent for ones( )he total monthly pension income in e*cess
of !1,000 has been reduced by : to 1: per cent, .hile &hristmas, %aster and summer
bonuses for pensioners have been abolished( )hese .holesale pension cuts have pushed a
large proportion of the population into poverty(
::( )he #ndependent %*pert shares the vie. of the %uropean &ommittee of Social
9ights that the 0cumulative effect1 of the various la.s introduced as 0austerity measures1
in Greece since May 2010, restricting and reducing both public and private pension
benefits, constituted a violation of the right to social security enshrined in article 12,3- of
the %uropean Social &harter(
As the &ommittee noted, ultimately, the pension cuts are
liely to occasion 0a significant degradation of the standard of living and the living
See &ountry 9eport 2o( 1372"1,see footnote 32-, p( @3(
Social .elfare e*penditure in Greece is relatively lo. .hen compared .ith other
%uropean countries( See =%&;, /reece$ Reform of Social %elfare Programmes, 2013 ,available
from ...(oecd6ilibrary(org7governance7greece6social6.elfare6programmesIA<@A2?"1A?"A06en-, p(
See Gree =mbudsman, Annual 9eport 2011 ,see footnote ""-, p( 1AH Annual Report
2342, pp( 3@63A( #t should be noted that la. "1:172013 .hich established advance payments of
pensions is intended to speed up access to pension benefits(
8ellenic Statistical Authority, 5iving &onditions in Greece, ? September 2013
,available from
pp( 3@63A((
conditions of many of the pensioners concerned1(
#t is therefore critical that the
Government mae efforts to ensure a sufficient level of protection for the most vulnerable
sectors of the population(
:?( #n 2011 and 2012, several family benefits .ere abolished and replaced by a single
means6tested family benefit provided according to family income(
)he ne. benefit
amounts to !"0 per month per child ,.ith slightly higher benefits per child for families .ith
three or more children-( 8o.ever, only families .ith an annual income under !1@,000 are
:<( Dhile the changes to the family benefit system ensure that support is provided in a
more targeted fashion to those in need, the #ndependent %*pert is concerned that eligibility
criteria are very strict and reEuire ,since $ebruary 2011- 10 years of permanent and
continuous residence in Greece( )his has the effect of e*cluding large numbers of
immigrants, and needs to be addressed(
:@( #t is notable that, to date, Greece is the only euro +one member State .ithout a
comprehensive social assistance scheme serving as a social safety net of last resort( )he
#ndependent %*pert is concerned that, rather than maintain or e*pand social security
spending to mitigate the negative social impact of the adjustment programme, the initial
mid6term fiscal strategy envisioned that social programmes ,e*cluding pensions and health-
.ould contribute 1(: per cent of G;B to fiscal consolidation(
:A( )he #ndependent %*pert .elcomes the steps taen by the Government to enhance
social protection, including, inter alia, a health voucher programme, .hich .ill provide
100,000 long6term uninsured citi+ens .ith access to primary health6care services, and a
revie. of the effectiveness of its income support programmes(
2onetheless, he urges the
Government to e*tend coverage to all, including immigrants, in accordance .ith the human
rights obligation of non6discrimination( 8e also urges the Government to ensure
participation of affected individuals and communities, as .ell as civil society organi+ations,
in the revie., design and implementation of any proposed social protection measures(
C3 Health
?0( A combination of cuts to health6care spending to belo. ? per cent of G;B
,appro*imately !12(" billion in 2012- from around 10 per cent in recent years, job cuts in
the public health sector, increased fees and co6payments,
the closure7merger of hospitals
See *eeration of Employe Pensioners of /reece 6(-A-E+A)7 .8 /reece, &omplaint
2o( <?72012, ;ecision on Merits, < ;ecember 2012H Panhellenic *eeration of Public
Pensioners 6POPS7 . /reece, &omplaint 2o( <<72012H Pensioners, 0nion of the Athens-Piraeus
Electric Rail"ays 6(8S8A8P87 . /reece' &omplaint 2o( <@72012H Panhellenic *eeration of Pensioners
of the Public Electricity 1orporation 6POS-9E(7 . /reece' &omplaint 2o( <A72012H and Pensioners,
0nion of the Agricultural !an& of /reece 6A+E7 . /reece' &omplaint 2o( @072012(
See for e*ample *eeration of Employe Pensioners of /reece 6(-A-E+A)7 .8
/reece, &omplaint 2o( <?72012, ;ecision on merits, < ;ecember 2012, para( <@(
=verall spending on insurance and assistance6based family benefits fell dramatically
from around !1(? billion in 200A to !A00 million by 2011( See =%&;, /reece$ Reform of Social
%elfare Programmes ,see footnote ::-, pp( :26:3(
#M$ &ountry 9eport 2o( 1372"1,see footnote 32-, pp( @36@"(
#n =ctober 2010, additional user fees .ere imposed, ranging from !3 to !: in
outpatient departments of public hospitals and health centres( #n Fanuary 2012, a 1: per cent co6
payment for clinical tests .as introduced for all persons insured .ith %=BSS, in tandem .ith a 2:
per cent co6payment for a range of prosthetic devices, orthopaedic materials and respiratory devices(
5a. "0A372012 introduced a !2: patient admission fee at public hospitals and a fee of !1 for each
prescription issued by the national health6care system as of 1 Fanuary 201"(
and health6care facilities, the reduction in the number of hospital beds and an increasing
number of people losing public health insurance ,mainly due to long6term unemployment-
has undermined the availability of and access to Euality health care, particularly for the
?1( Since 2010, Greece has reduced health6care spending significantly, to levels belo.
the average in the %uropean Gnion(
Bublic health e*penditure fell from <(1 per cent of
G;B in 2010 to :(@ per cent in 2012, and .as projected to drop to :(3 per cent in 2013, .ell
belo. the ?(3 per cent average for %uropean Gnion member States( =verall, the health
budget has been cut by about "0 per cent(
?2( )he austerity policies are also creating ancillary problems .ith serious health
implicationsH for e*ample, cuts to public health spending have meant that diseases thought
to have long been eradicated in the country, such as malaria, have resurfaced to the
discontinuation of anti6mosEuito spraying programmes(

?3( A :2 per cent increase in 8#C infections .as reported from 2010 to 2011(
indicate that, although initially blamed on se* .orers and irregular migrants, the outbrea
.as mainly due to unsafe injecting practices among drug addicts, especially desperate
young Grees facing unemployment .ho had turned to drugs(

?"( )he #ndependent %*pert is concerned that, in response to the above situation, the
authorities issued a directive ,8ealth 9egulation 2o( GS73AA- in April 2012, .hich
allo.ed the 8ealth ;epartment to forcibly test anyone for certain infectious diseases,
including influen+a, tuberculosis, polio, hepatitis and se*ually transmitted diseases,
including 8#C( )he #ndependent %*pert is also concerned that 9egulation 2o( GS73AA .as
reinstated on 2? Fune 2013 only a fe. months after it .as repealed(
?:( #t should be noted that the detention of persons for the purposes of forcibly testing
them for 8#C violates the right to security of the person ,#nternational &ovenant on &ivil
and Bolitical 9ights, art( A-, as .ell as the #nternational Guidelines on 8#C7A#;S and
8uman 9ights(
$urthermore, the publication of sensitive personal and medical data, such
as the 8#C status of persons, by the 8ellenic Bolice and local media violates the rights to
privacy ,#nternational &ovenant on &ivil and Bolitical 9ights, art( 1<- and the
confidentiality of personal health information ,#nternational &ovenant on %conomic, Social
and &ultural 9ights, art( 12-(
At the beginning of the crisis, it .as estimated that @: per cent of the population had
public health insurance( An increasing number of people have, ho.ever, lost insurance cover
to long6term unemployment(
Dithin the first t.o years of austerity, the total e*penditure of the Ministry of 8ealth
fell by !1(@ billion ,a reduction of 23(< per cent bet.een 200A and 2011-( See %lias Oondilis et al(,
0%conomic &risis, 9estrictive Bolicies, and the Bopulation/s 8ealth and 8ealth &are3 )he Gree
&ase1, American Journal of Public Health, vol( 103, 2o( ? ,2013-, p( A<3(
See S( 'onovas and G( 2iolopoulos, 08igh6burden epidemics in Greece in the era of
economic crisis( %arly signs of a public health tragedy1, Journal of Pre.enti.e )eical Hygiene, vol(
:3 ,2012-, pp( 1?A61<1( See also ;avid Stucler and Sanjay 'asu, +he !oy Economic$ %hy
Austerity -ills ,2e. Sor, 'asic 'oos, 2013-, pp( @?6@@H and Oondilis et al(, p( A<?(
Oondilis et al(, p( A<?(
%uropean &entre for ;isease Brevention and &ontrol7Dorld 8ealth =rgani+ation,
Mission 9eport, Foint technical mission3 8#C in Greece, 2@62A May 2012 ,Stocholm, Fanuary 2013-
,available from http377ecdc(europa(eu7en7publications7publications7hiv6joint6technicalL20mission6hiv6
in6greece(pdf-, p( 1( See also ;avid Stucler and Sanjay 'asu, +he !oy Economic$ %hy Austerity
-ills ,2e. Sor, 'asic 'oos, 2013- p( 23(
See 08#C testing in Greece3 repeating past mistaes1, #ancet, vol( 3@2 ,2013-, p( 102H
and 8uman 9ights Datch, 0Greece3 9epeal Abusive 8ealth 9egulation1, " Fuly 2013(
See comments on guideline 3, para( 20 ,b-, and guideline :, 22,j-(
??( )here has also been a rise in mental health problems( Suicides have risen by 3< per
cent since the onset of the debt crisis ,from ?<< in 200A to A2< in 2011-(
According to
some studies, the rise in suicides and suicide attempts can, to a large e*tent, be attributed to
the financial and social strain imposed on individuals by the economic crisis(

?<( #n the conte*t of severely reduced access to the public health6care system, there has
been an increase in the number of community clinics serving a population unable to afford
health insurance, nor pay for treatment and medicines( More and more Gree citi+ens are
turning to these clinics, .hich .ere initially established to help immigrant communities, are
staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses and provide free services and medicines ,.hich are
?@( Access to medicines has also become a problem( #n $ebruary 2013, more than 200
medical products .ere in short supply at hospitals and pharmacies, including drugs for
arthritis, hepatitis & and hypertension, cholesterol6lo.ering agents, antipsychotics and
)he introduction of co6payments has compounded the problem, since many
patients cannot afford, in the conte*t of severe austerity, to pay for their medication(
?A( #n Fune 2013, the 2ational =rgani+ation for 8ealth6care Brovision ,%=BSS- started
to hand out free medicines to about :0,000 unemployed and uninsured persons through a
net.or of 0social1 pharmacies located in Attica(
)he #ndependent %*pert .elcomes this
initiative, but is of the vie. that the programme needs to be significantly e*panded in
volume and geographical scope so as to ensure affordable access to medicines by all that
need them(
<0( )he reforms have also restricted access to health care for undocumented migrants(
Although in theory they have access to free health6care services in cases of emergency or if
there is a ris to their life, in practice such access cannot be assured since it is at the
discretion of medical personnel( Moreover, an official directive issued on 2 May 2012
,amending the 5a. 33@?7200:, T@"- states clearly that public services, public corporate
bodies, local authorities and social security institutions do not have to provide services to
undocumented third6country nationals, e*cept in an emergency(
<1( )he #ndependent %*pert acno.ledges the need for reform of the Gree health6care
system( 2evertheless, he considers that the massive cuts to public funding to the health
sector and the introduction of user fees, .hich have resulted in a large section of the
population being unable to enjoy the minimum essential levels of the right to the highest
attainable standard of health, as enshrined in article 12 of the #nternational &ovenant on
%conomic, Social and &ultural 9ights, constitute retrogressive measures( 8e underscores
0Greece suicide rate syrocets, police data sho.s1, E&athimerini, 22 2ovember
2012( See also 0%5S)A) says 1,2": Grees illed themselves in 200A611 period1, E&athimerini' 2@
Fune 2013( =fficial statistics might not, ho.ever, give an accurate reflection of the situation to
the fact that many suicides are not reported as such because the Gree =rthodo* &hurch refuses
religious funerals to those .hose deaths are classified as suicides(
See ;avid Stucler et al(,0%ffects of the 200@ recession on health3 a first loo at
%uropean data1, #ancet, vol( 3<@ ,2011-, pp( 12"612:H and M( %conoumou et al(, 0Suicidal ideation
and reported suicide attempts in Greece during the economic crisis1, %orl Psychiatry, vol( 12, 2o( 1
,2013-, pp( :36:A(
%li+abeth Suar and 8elena Smith, 0Banic in Gree pharmacies as hundreds of
medicines run short1, /uarian, 2< $ebruary 2013, available from
0%=BSS to give out free medicines to :0,000 Grees1, E&athimerini, 1 Fune
MUdicines du Monde, Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis an rising
:enophobia Baris, 2013 ,available from
(pdf-, p( "2(
that health is an important condition for the individual/s .ell6being and dignity(
therefore has an obligation to establish conditions under .hich the health of all individuals
can be protected and promoted(
=3 Education
<2( Annual public spending on education .as cut from !<(23 billion in 200A to !:(@"
billion in 2013, a reduction of 30 per cent( )he education budget has been reduced by
cutting government spending on human resources, as .ell through drastic cuts in daily
operational and maintenance costs for schools and costs for purchasing educational
material( )hese e*penditures .ere reduced by 2" per cent in 2011 and by a further 1A per
cent in 2012(
<3( As part of austerity, bet.een school years 200A62010 and 20136201", appro*imately
,1"(: per cent of all school units of primary education ,including pre6primary schools- and
" per cent of school units in secondary education have been merged( )he closure of schools
has in certain instances significantly increased the distance for children to reach school, and
limited access and increased school drop6out rates, especially among 9oma children,
remain a concern(
<"( #n addition, the number of secondary school teachers has been reduced, , mainly
through retirement and restrictions placed on ne. recruitments from mid62010, in particular
for the school year 2012613 by about 11 per cent( #t is planned that 2,:00 more teachers .ill
be placed in the mobility scheme and may eventually be retrenched( )he salaries of
teachers in public schools have also been cut(
<:( According to the Ministry of %ducation, ho.ever, these funding cuts have not
resulted in a deterioration of the right to education as many teachers .ill been reassigned
according to need( 2onetheless, the #ndependent %*pert considers that these cuts in a very
short time cannot realistically be absorbed .ithout any negative impact on the Euality of
public education(

E3 $deBuate housing
<?( As a result of the recession and the adjustment programme, there has been an
increase in homelessness since 200A, estimated at 2: per cent( 2on6governmental
organi+ations estimate that at least 20,000 people are no. homeless( Many of the 0neo6
homeless1 are relatively .ell6educated .ho have found themselves in this situation
to the financial difficulties occasioned by loss of employment and benefits(
<<( As part of the fiscal consolidation, the Dorers/ 8ousing =rgani+ation, the only
major institution providing housing benefits, .as abolished in $ebruary 2012 and its
competences transferred to the %mployment =rgani+ation( )he Dorers/
8ousing =rgani+ation had provided, inter alia, a rental subsidy to nearly 120,000
households and housing benefits for non6insured elderly persons(

See %7&(12720007", para( 1(
See %uropean &ommission, 0$unding of %ducation in %urope 2000620123 )he impact
of the economic crisis1, %urydice 9eport, 2013 ,available from
http377eacea(ec(europa(eu7education7eurydice(((7documents7thematicIreports71"<%2(pdf-, p( 3<(
See also &9&7&7G9&7&=7263, paras( ?06?1(
See for e*ample #ordanis Barasevopoulos and Fohn Morgan, 0Gree %ducation and
the $inancial &risis( %ducation System .ith a 'lea $utureJ1, %eiterbilung, :72011, pp( 3@6"1(
<@( At the same time, reductions in social service budgets have severely affected the
ability of support services to provide assistance to the homeless at a time .hen they .ere
already struggling to meet the increasing demand( $or e*ample, in 2ovember 2010, ?1 of
the @: staff members at the &ity of Athens 8omeless $oundation .ere laid off, greatly
reducing the services that could be provided(
<A( #n 200A, the Government too measures to protect lo.6 and middle6income
homeo.ners unable to service their mortgages from ban foreclosures( )o this end, the
Government imposed a ban on bans from repossessing primary residences .orth up to
!200,000( )he #ndependent %*pert understands, ho.ever, that the State/s international
lenders have pressed the Government to end the ban( 8e calls upon these lenders to avoid
prescribing policy actions that may undermine Greece/s international human rights
obligations, including the right to adeEuate housing(
@0( )he #ndependent %*pert shares the concern e*pressed by the Special 9apporteur on
the right to adeEuate housing as a component of the right to an adeEuate standard of living,
and on the right to non6discrimination in this conte*t that the phasing out of housing
subsidies, changes to the legal protection against evictions and the emergency property ta*
have had a detrimental impact on the reali+ation of the right to adeEuate housing for the
poorest and most marginali+ed segments of society(
8e calls upon the Gree authorities to
introduce a comprehensive means6tested housing benefit targeted at the poor and their
families, to close the social protection gap in the area of housing e*acerbated by the
dissolution of the Dorers/ 8ousing =rgani+ation( #t should be noted that housing, lie
employment, is an important guarantor of human dignity(
43 Poverty and social exclusion
@1( Although Greece already had the highest poverty rate in the euro +one prior to 200A,
the austerity measures, particularly job redundancies and cuts to .ages and benefits, have
pushed even more people into poverty( Appro*imately 11 per cent of the population is
living in e*treme poverty(
)hese poverty levels have contributed to increasing ineEuality
and social e*clusion(
@2( According to a study by the Athens Gniversity of %conomics and 'usiness and
Gniversity of %sse*, the relative poverty rate ,namely, the percentage of persons having
less than ?0 per cent of the median income at their disposal- increased from 20 per cent in
200A to 21(2A per cent in 2012(
#n particular, the unemployed ,relative poverty rate of
"1(0@ per cent- and many children ,2?(<: per cent- have dropped under the relative poverty
threshold( ;ata from the 8ellenic Statistics Authority for 2011 indicating that "" per cent
of all unemployed have fallen under the poverty threshold confirm this trend( #t should be
noted that single parent households .ith children face a similar ris of poverty ,rate of "3(2
per cent-(

See A789&7237:1, communication G9& 172013 and reply of the Government of
Greece dated 1? April 2013(
2icole $ondeville and )erry Dard, 08omelessness during the crisis1, research note
@72011, %uropean &ommission 6 ;irectorate6 General for %mployment, Social Affairs and #nclusion,
2ovember 2011, p( 1"(
See https377spdb(ohchr(org7hrdb723rd7publicI6IA5IGreeceI1A(02(13I,1(2013-(pdf(
See Fubilee ;ebt &ampaign, #ife an ebt ,see footnote 1:-, p( 12(
&hrysa 5eventi and Manos Matsaganis, ;istributional #mplications of the &risis in
Greece in 200A62012, %G9=M=; Doring Baper 2o( %M 1"713, August 2013 ,available from
...(iser(esse*(ac(u7publications7.oring6papers7euromod7em1"613-( See also %urostat ne.s
release 1<172012, 3 ;ecember 2012, available from
@3( #ncome ineEuality has also increased( =verall, the Gini inde*, taing values from 0
,total eEuality- to 1 ,total ineEuality-, moved from 0(3""A in 200A to 0(3?<@ in 2012(
Although the austerity measures included elements reEuiring a greater contribution to the
fiscal savings by the more affluent, the adjustment has nevertheless further reduced the
income of population groups that .ere already at the bottom of income distribution in
200A, thus e*acerbating their poverty( Beople in the lo.est income decile lost 2"(2 per cent
of their pre6crisis income bet.een 200A and 2012( #f income deciles are adjusted on the
basis of the 2012 income distribution, the income loss of the poorest 10 per cent of the
population rises to an alarming :?(: per cent(

@"( #t is difficult to isolate the distributive effects of the austerity policies from the .ider
recession, as both are closely connected( %*perts nevertheless conclude that the ?3(3 per
cent of the population that found itself belo. the fi*ed poverty line in 2010 and 2011 did so
as a conseEuence of austerity policies alone > meaning they can be directly attributed to
changes imposed by ta*ation, and .age and social benefit cuts( )hey also note that the
sharp rise in poverty and ineEuality .as mostly due to the large drop in the income share of
the poorest 10 per cent of the population(
&3 Cther rights
@:( )he negative impact of the adjustment programme e*tends to civil and political
rightsH for e*ample, the .idespread public protests held against the harsh austerity
measures .ere reportedly dealt .ith in a heavy6handed manner by the authorities(
#n May
2013, the Government invoed national emergency legislation it to compel public
sector employees to .or to ban a planned strie by the 2ational Gnion for 8igh School
)eachers against austerity measures during university entrance e*aminations( )he
Government argued that the measure .as necessary to prevent a severe disturbance to the
social and financial life of the country and to safeguard public order, as .ell as the health of
prospective university students(
@?( )he #ndependent %*pert considers, ho.ever, that such responses are
disproportionate and may violate the freedoms of assembly and association, .hich are also
guaranteed in the &onstitution(
@<( )here has also been a rise in hate crimes and *enophobia against the country/s
immigrant community, largely targeted in an attempt to find a scapegoat for the crisis(
April 2013, G28&9, the 2ational &ommission for 8uman 9ights and a coalition of 30
non6governmental organi+ations documented 1:" incidents of racist violence in 2012 alone,
of .hich 1:1 committed against refugees and migrants and three against %uropean citi+ens(
#t is believed that most attacs .ere committed by members of e*tremist groups, and that
only a fraction of all cases are actually documented(

8ellenic Statistical Authority, 5iving &onditions in Greece ,see footnote :<-, p( "<6
5eventi and Matsaganis, ;istributional #mplications ,see footnote @3-, p( 22(
#bid(, p( 2@(
#bid(, p( 3:(
Gree =mbudsman, Annual Report 2344 ,see footnote "3-, pp( 2@62A(
#bid(, pp( 2@62A( See also 0)he Gree =mbudsman on incidents of racist violence1,
press release, 3 Fuly 2012, available from ...(synigoros(gr7resources7press6release6on6racist6
G28&9, 9acist Ciolence 9ecording 2et.or, 2012 annual report, available from
...(unhcr(gr71againstracism7en720126annual6report6of6the6racist6violence6recording6net.or7( See
also the report by the &ouncil of %urope &ommissioner for 8uman 9ights his visit to
Greece, Strasbourg 1? April 2003, &omm;8,2013-?H 8uman 9ights Datch, 08ate on the Streets(
Venophobic violence in Greece1, Fuly 2012H and Amnesty #nternational, 0Bolice violence in Greece1,
@@( )he #ndependent %*pert is concerned at reports of the failure of the police to protect
victims or to respond to such attacs and to investigate them diligently(
8e .elcomes the
establishment of <0 anti6racist police units throughout the country and the appointment of a
special prosecutor responsible for the coordination and proper investigation of racist crimes
by the prosecuting authorities as an important step to combat such incidents( 8e also
.elcomes the submission to the 8ellenic Barliament on 20 2ovember 2013 of a ne. la.
aimed at combatting racism and *enophobia ,Amendment of la. A2<71A<A-(
@A( 5astly, the enjoyment of human rights has been further undermined by the limited
ability of public accountability bodies, such as the Gree =mbudsman and the 2ational
&ommission for 8uman 9ights, to respond adeEuately to human rights issues in the conte*t
of the economic crisis to insufficient funding for operations( =ther barriers to access
to justice include lengthy proceedings before civil and administrative courts, higher fees for
initiating legal proceedings and inadeEuate funding for legal aid(
)he #ndependent %*pert
urges the Government of Greece to address these challenges as a matter of urgency and
notes in this conte*t that, on 12 $ebruary 201", the 8ellenic Barliament adopted a ne. la.
,"23A7201"- aimed at providing fair satisfaction for e*ceeding the reasonable duration of
proceedings in civil and criminal courts and in the &ourt of Audit(
0II3 Conclusions and recommendations
A0( The ad"ustment programme and, in particular, the excessively rigid austerity
measures implemented since %ay (+,+ have exacted sustantial economic and social
costs for the &ree5 population3 The programme has pushed the economy into
recession, compromised the standard of living of the ma"ority of the population and
generally undermined the en"oyment of human rights in &reece3 $ large proportion of
ailout loans has een used to pay off the an5s that lent money rec5lessly to &reece,
while increasing the country7s det3 Regrettaly, the role of the !tate as provider of
accessile pulic services has een suordinated to the increasingly elusive goal of
restoring a sustainale pulic udget3
A1( Cn the asis of the findings set out in this report, the Independent
Expert ma5es the recommendations elow3
$3 &overnment of &reece
A2( The Independent Expert recommends that the &overnment6
'a. Implement its international financial oligations, including those under
the ad"ustment programme, without resorting to further pulic spending cuts and
other austerity measures that may undermine the reali>ation of economic, social and
cultural rights in the countryD
'. Ensure that it preserves sufficient resources to enale it utili>e its
Emaximum availale resourcesF for the reali>ation of all human rights and, in
particular, to ensure the en"oyment of the minimum essential levels of economic and
social rights in line with its international oligationsD
Fuly 2012, pp( 1<623(
Gree =mbudsman, 0)he phenomenon of racist violence1, special report, 2:
September 2013 ,available in Gree from...(synigoros(gr-(
According to the Ministry of Fustice, some ",000 applications are made annually for
legal aid, A: per cent of .hich is devoted to criminal matters(
'c. Conduct an independent, transparent and participatory audit of its det
in order to determine its origins and to identify and to hold to account those found
responsile for the detD
'd. Conduct human rights impact assessments to identify the potential
negative impact of the ad"ustment programme and the necessary policies to address itD
'e. Intensify its efforts to comat tax avoidance and evasion and, in
particular, to improve collection of outstanding tax detsD
'f. @rgently devote sufficient resources to close gaps in the social protection
'g. Consider expanding existing programmes aimed at addressing
unemployment, particular among youth, through training and proactive laour
'h. Increase the minimum wage 'after taxes. as soon as possile to levels
aove the poverty thresholdD
'i. Consider expanding the means-tested guaranteed minimum income
scheme to e piloted in two regions in (+,8 at the national level to close gaps in the
welfare safety net, in accordance with I#C !ocial Protection 4loors Recommendation,
(+,( 'Go3 (+(.D
'". @rgently repeal or ad"ust any austerity measures that have had a
regressive impact on income distriutionD
'5. Ensure affordale access to primary health care without discrimination,
and address the drop-out of persons from medical insurance owing to long-term
unemployment or other reasonsD
'l. Repeal as a matter of urgency Health Regulation Go3 &H1-<$D
'm. Reconsider the reform measures that have had a negative impact on the
right to education, particularly for memers of vulnerale groupsD
'n. Enhance support for homeless persons and increase efforts to prevent
further homelessnessD consider estalishing a housing enefit for low-income
households to fill the gap caused y the closure of the ?or5ers7 Housing
Crgani>ation, and continue protection of low-income homeowners and their families
who are not ale to serve their mortgages against possile eviction from their own
'o. Implement recommendations y the Council of Europe Commissioner
for Human Rights to cur the increase in racist attac5s and xenophoic violenceD and
continue to ta5e decisive measures to comat violent extremism in accordance with
international human rights lawD
'p. Consider ratifying core international human rights treaties to which the
!tate is not yet a party, in particular, the Cptional Protocol to the International
Covenant on Economic, !ocial and Cultural Rights(
93 International lenders
A3( The Independent Expert calls upon the country7s international lenders6
'a. To avoid providing financial assistance with intrusive and onerous policy
conditions that may undermine the country7s growth prospects and the reali>ation of
all human rightsD
'. To support the underta5ing y the &overnment of &reece to conduct an
independent, transparent and participatory audit of the !tate7s pulic detD
'c. To consider a further reduction of the pulic det of &reece, including a
write-down of &ree5 onds held y the European Central 9an5, to allow the country
to reduce its det to a more sustainale level as defined in the present reportD
'd. To include the reduction of unemployment and poverty as measurale
targets in the ongoing ad"ustment programme, and to monitor progress regularlyD
'e. To ensure transparency in their dealings with the &overnment of &reece
in a manner that fully respects the rights of the people of &reece, including the right
to pulic participationD
'f. ?ith particular reference to I%4, to ensure that det sustainaility
assessments ta5e into consideration the other demands on the &overnment7s availale
resources, particularly those reBuired for social investment and estalishment of the
conditions for the full reali>ation of all human rights, particularly economic, social
and cultural rightsD
'g. To consider preparing a new ad"ustment programme for &reece with
etter conditions that will allow it to address its deficit and det prolems without
undermining the en"oyment of human rights3


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