UN rights expert urges debt relief for Greece to alleviate poverty, unemployment

ATHENS, Greece – A United Nations human rights expert is backing the Greek left-wing government’s claim that the country’s financial problems have triggered a humanitarian crisis, and advocates debt relief to boost welfare spending.

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky says Greece is now “partially unable” to ensure that all its people enjoy minimum levels of economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in international human rights law.

The debt-crippled country has undergone repeated rounds of public spending cuts and tax hikes, as unemployment soared and incomes plunged over the past five years. The unpopular measures were demanded by international bailout creditors to reduce government spending, revive the economy and render the debt burden sustainable.

Bohoslavsky urged creditors to allow debt relief to enable “socially inclusive growth.” He spoke in Athens on Tuesday after a fact-finding visit.