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Grexit Debate, or Prepare for Eurozone Collapse

Feb. 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—Some Greek politicians are calling for Greece to prepare for the collapse of the Eurozone or leave on the coattails of Italy, if it leaves. Speaking to Greece's Skai TV, Syriza's parliamentary spokesman, Nikos Xydakis, said that MPs should hold a debate about Greece's membership in the euro.

Xydakis, a former Minister for European Union Affairs, argued that

"there should be no taboos when we are talking about people's fate. We have reached a point where the population does not have the stamina anymore. I believe there has to be a political and national discussion the likes of which has not taken place during the last seven years. Naturally, this discussion has to start from Parliament."

The statement sparked hysteria from the opposition and also within Syriza.

Posting his response to the attacks against him, Xydakis said that he did not advocate a return to the drachma, but clearly stated:

"I repeat what I said the last time: We have to discuss publicly, seriously and responsibly, the historical challenges facing the Greek people, looking for the most suitable compositions. Discussing publicly, institutionally—or in cafes, or backstage. The ever-more onerous terms of our memorandums require an increasingly thorough strategic and political debate.

"In this spirit I argued that no discussion should be demonized, that citizens have a clear picture in order to correspond to reality. I never supported return to the drachma.... And it is just because we know that a disorderly transition is to the detriment of the Greek people."

Expressing doubts that the euro is "irreversible," he said, "Nobody knows what the Eurozone will be in a few years from now." Furthermore, he said, "leaving today, under the conditions of [German Finance Minister Wolfgang] Schäuble would be unfavorable."

Xydakis is not an old guard member of Syriza, but is the former chief editor of Kathimerini, the leading liberal daily, which means that such a comment carries a little more weight.

Nonetheless, while saying that it would be "suicidal" for Greece to be the first to leave the Eurozone, Syriza European Parliament Member (MEP) Stelios Kouloglou said Greece should have a plan ready in the event the Eurozone breaks up; 19 of the European Union's 28 member-states, collectively known as the Eurozone, currently use the single currency, the euro.

Kouloglou, who spoke at the Schiller Institute's Paris conference in June 2015, also expressed doubts that the Euro's future as fixed. He called on the government to work on contingency plan for a such a scenario: "We have to be prepared for every eventuality.... [T]he government should be working on a plan," he told Action FM radio according to Britain's Guardian.

He said Greece should not put a Grexit on the table in its negotiations, because that would play into the hands of Schäuble, who wants to overthrow the Greek government and put the New Democracy party back into power. However, he said, "Italy may leave. If that happens, Greece should hide behind it and leave at the time."