A Senate motion put forward by Australian Greens Deputy Leader Scott Ludlam calling for Treasurer Joe Hockey to “express concern at the continued support by IMF officials for the austerity program in Greece” has been blocked by Labor and the Coalition.
The motion, put forward on Thursday, was addressed to Mr Hockey in his role as a member of the IMF’s Financial Committee and as a governor of the IMF and World Bank.
Senator Ludlam appealed to Mr Hockey to seek the support of other IMF member states to introduce “alternative measures that will better address social and humanitarian challenges in Greece”, and to “insist the IMF refrain from imposing policy conditions upon Greece which will potentially lead to a default of more than AUD$40 billion debt towards the IMF”.
Speaking in support of the motion, that was also moved by NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Senator Ludlam said that he raised the matter in relation to “Australia’s ability to alleviate the extraordinary suffering that has been levied against the people of Greece”.
The Greens deputy leader said that the collapse of Greek GDP by more than 25 per cent over the past five years had produced “a humanitarian disaster”, and that “the collapse of the Greek economy has been almost intentional”.
Senator Ludluam added that Greece’s economic collapse had gone “hand in hand with the implementation of the most extreme form of austerity politics that has been prescribed by the troika of lenders: the ECB, the EU and the IMF.”
“Our Treasurer, Joe Hockey, is a member of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee.
“We are asking that the Senate call Mr Hockey and the governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group to ensure that further misery is not visited on the people of Greece.”
Put to a voice vote by Senate deputy president Glenn Serle, the motion was rejected overwhelmingly, with Labor and Coalition senators uniting to ensure its defeat.