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
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:
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."