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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-11-05

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tsipras: Any member's exit from the eurozone 'a catastrophe for Europe'
  • [02] Greek economy to return to growth rates in 2014

  • [01] Tsipras: Any member's exit from the eurozone 'a catastrophe for Europe'

    A country's exit from the euro will not benefit anyone, and will create new problems, Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras said at a two-day conference organized by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, titled "Can the eurozone survive?".

    The main opposition leader delivered the conference's keynote address on Monday and responded to questions during a discussion following later in the day (local time). On Tuesday he will participate in another panel, on "Advice to Governments to Come".

    Regarding the eurozone, he said that the founding agreements of the European Union were wrong and have to change, but the question of whether some countries should have been allowed to become members "is best left to historians."

    "Today, the eurozone exists," Tsipras said. "We have an economic union and a common currency. The immediate alternatives are worse, and an exit will not benefit anyone. On the contrary, it will create serious new problems - management of an unstable, new currency; inflation; and flight of capital and people. For this reason alone, Greece should not and will not do it, will not leave the eurozone voluntarily."

    Besides jeopardising its own economy, a possible exit by Greece or any other country in crisis "would be a catastrophe for Europe. Deep down, everyone knows this," the SYRIZA leader said. "At this time, if one country leaves, markets and speculators will start asking who the next one in line is...It doesn't matter how small the departing country is. It doesn't matter if it leaves voluntarily or not."

    Referring to the European Parliament's questioning of fiscal policies followed by the troika of lenders in countries of crisis, like Greece, Tsipras said, "European Parliament president (Martin Schulz) mentioned that someone should assume responsibility for what has happened in countries that followed the policies of the troika. We agree with this stance and will contribute towards this. But he must also respond to the question of why the fiscal adjustment programme must continue."

    Monday's panel discussion was moderated by Monica Frasoni, European Green Party co-president at the Europarliament. Panelists included Harvard lecturer and economist Richard Parker, New York Times journalist Landon Thomas, Jr., and Georgetown University emeritus professor of law Norman Birnbaum. SYRIZA deputy Giorgos Stathakis and economics professor Yannis Varoufakis also participated in Monday's proceedings.

    [02] Greek economy to return to growth rates in 2014

    The Greek economy is expected to shrink by 4.0 pct this year, from 6.4 pct in 2012 and to return to positive growth rate in 2014 (0.6 pct) rising to 2.9 pct in 2015, the European Commission said in its autumn forecasts report released in Brussels on Tuesday.

    The EU's executive arm, in its spring forecasts had predicted a 4.2 pct economic recession in Greece and a 0.6 pct recovery next year.

    The Commission said Greek unemployment was expected to rise to 27 pct this year (unchanged from May's forecasts) from 17.7 pct in 2011 and 24.3 pct in 2012, falling to 26 pct in 2014 and to 24 pct in 2015.

    The country's fiscal deficit is projected to rise to 13.5 pct in 2013 (reflecting a bank recapitalization cost) falling to 2.0 pct in 2014 and 1.1 pct in 2015, while the Greek public debt is expected to rise to 176.2 pct of GDP this year, from 156.9 pct in 2012, falling to 175.9 pct in 2014 and 170.9 pct in 2015. Greece is expected to remain in a deflation trend this year (-0.3 pct) and 2014 (-0.4 pct) and to return to positive inflation rates in 2015 (0.3 pct).

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