Greece: Leaving the euro, a risky business?

4 January 2012

The euro or the drachma? That is the question asked by the Greek press while the government continues to negotiate with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to find a new bailout plan. Athens daily To Vima writes-

Faced with this challenge, the most crucial for our country since the overthrow of the dictatorship of the colonels in 1974, we must choose between taking all the measures necessary to stay in the eurozone or sinking into uncontrolled bankruptcy and thus return de facto to the drachma.

The paper attacks the political parties that encourage instability. PASOK (socialist), LAOS (extreme right) and New Democracy (right-wing) "support the government [and] at the same time lead the political opposition."

To Ethnos notes that -

... the dilemma over the euro or the drachma leaves no one indifferent, even the left parties that have a different view on the issue. The truth is that this dilemma hides a major truth. The measures, the bailout plans imposed by the EU and the Greek government in the name of the euro these last two years, as well as all those that were implemented for the good of the country have drawn us closer to the drachma.

But the daily warns that while "a majority of Greeks do not want the drachma, many no longer feel implicated in the debate".

Yet, as highlighted by news site

... a return to the drachma would impoverish 90% of the population. We must thus realise that, like it or not, we must do everything to stay in the euro clan in order not to become the poor little neighbour of 'Grand Turkey'. This requires much, much work with major sacrifices but the choice is ours to make.