Greece crisis: political scientist Dimitri Sotiropoulos on the causes and consequences
He does not believe German leaders to condemn as scapegoats: The Greek scientist Dimitri Sotiropoulos explains in an interview where he sees the causes of the plight of his country – and what it would mean a Grexit.
The day after the Greek No to the austerity measures of donors Dimitri Sotiropoulos is a man in demand. Constantly the phone rings the political scientist at the University of Athens.’ What’s that for a delay?’, He asks, when he discovered on his display a missed call.’ 0061?’ He googling.’ This is Australia.’ Sotiropoulos laughs.’ Greece is suddenly very popular in the world.’
But after the referendum is not actually felt him laugh. Sotiropoulos, who studied at the London School of Economics and at Yale, feared gloomy times for his country.’ There is only one very small window that is still open for us.’ A Grexit, so an exit from the euro, would be for Greece in his opinion’ a disaster’.
Sotiropoulos agrees with the Greeks, Germany bears the main blame for their plight. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he explains why he sees the greatest responsibility in Greece itself – and what ways out of the crisis, there are still open.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : Mr Sotiropoulos, the Greeks have overwhelmingly rejected the austerity measures and celebrate But is that really no one to celebrate or rather for concern.?
Sotiropoulos : The majority seems to celebrate. They’re celebrating because they assume that the government has been strengthened and there is now hope for improvement in the situation. The economic decline lasts already for five years, so it’s a kind of desperate joy. But they also celebrate what can be accomplished in their opinion of democracy, namely, the way a country is going to change. On the Greek side to why the government formed so new.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : That does not sound like you would rejoice.
Sotiropoulos : Whether the joy is justified or not, remains to be seen if we know the next step of the creditor, so if the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and Central Bank to its future action have defined.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : What do you think?
Sotiropoulos : I doubt that they will take a different course than in the past and come to meet the Greek demands. I also believe that the majority of Greeks succumbed a populist government, which has promised that there would be an agreement with the creditors within 48 hours after the referendum.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : And now?
Sotiropoulos : now there will probably be a really very last offer on the part of creditors. It is harsh austerity demands of Athens included, which should bring Greece economic consolidation. If we reject the back, actually remains only leaving the euro zone. This will hopefully be a smooth transition as possible, with the help the euro zone countries, no panic exit.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : What would be the end of the euro in Greece for the population?
Sotiropoulos : It would be an economic disaster and a social disaster. Greece would suddenly excluded from a well-protected currency zone that’s a protection for poorer countries. Greece would not have this security and would consist of the drachma in a highly complex world with strong currencies. We were under an incredible pressure and would plunge into an even deeper crisis. I fear that inflation would rise incredible, among the poor would suffer more than the rich. We had just before the EU accession in 1981 before inflation of around 25 percent.
SPIEGEL Onlne : Before the referendum sentiment against Germany was made, with posters on which German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble were attacked. Share the criticism of the Federal Republic?
Sotiropoulos : The blame for our situation, we bear Greeks themselves We have always had economic difficulties.. The global banking and economic crisis has therefore hit us particularly hard. In all this time, the state has the public sector much more protected and promoted as the private. At the same time big business, but also doctors, lawyers, small shopkeepers and craft businesses have not paid taxes. Since has changed in recent weeks and months, but the structures need to be reformed much deeper. Here were Germany and the other donor countries must demand such reforms, rather than settle for tax increases and spending cuts to give.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : Give the impression that pride and vanity in Greece play a greater role as an economic and political sense?
Sotiropoulos : In this part of the world that is so, yes. Here nationalism is the most powerful ideology, reinforced by politicians, schools, mass media and even the Church. It is an ideology in which one falls, especially in the crisis in emotional behavior.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : Does the resignation of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis things easier?
Sotiropoulos : Definitely. I’m sure, put another politician who the same demands as Varoufakis and the same positions would have taken would have been successful. Varoufakis’ Art has to be able to in which we find ourselves, contributed
In summary:. The Greek political scientist Dimitri Sotiropoulos looks in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, the cause of the profound economic plight of the country in protracted reforms. Creditors, including Germany have, for a long time must demand more efficient structures. But a Grexit would’ an economic disaster and a social disaster’.
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