Wednesday, May 25, 2011

EU Fisheries Commissioner won’t let Greece off the hook.

Greece’s representative in the European Commission – EU Fisheries Commission Maria Damanaki – made some interesting comments about the Greek crisis earlier today, essentially becoming the first Greek or EU official to openly admit that even Greece’s membership of the euro is in doubt (despite the fact she is under pressure to toe both the EU and the Greek government line of complete denial). She said:
"The scenario of Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone is now on the table, as is its implementation. I am compelled to speak openly. We have a historical responsibility to see the dilemma clearly: either we agree with our lenders on a program of harsh sacrifices that will yield results, thus taking responsibility for our past, or we go back to the drachma. Everything else is secondary in these current conditions."
Pretty strong stuff for an EU official, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Representatives from Greece and the EU moved quickly to dispel the rumours, as always, suggesting that only the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, can speak on behalf of Greece.

On a completely separate issue

Cross party talks in Greece failed to yield a consensus on the new austerity measures giving rise to talks of a possible referendum on the issue or even a snap election. Clearly, it's not just Damanki who questions whether Papandreou is the only one that should be allowed to speak on the country's behalf…

We can't help it: the Greek government has looked all at sea these past couple of weeks.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/toe-the-line.html

Open Europe blog team said...

Good spot Anonymous - we've changed that.

Rollo said...

So one commissioner is actually in touch with reality. Let us hope it is contagious. Greece is insolvent. Greece cannot live with the Euro. Greece needs to default, and to return to its own currency; or if not, to a mediterranean currency taking in Spain and Portugal and Italy. Whatever it is, it is not the euro, and the sooner this happens the better. Ireland should adopt the Pound, perhaps?