ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La droite allemande estime que la Grèce doit quitter la zone Euro
by Florence Delavaud
Translated Thursday 14 June 2012, by Derek Hansonand reviewed by
The cover of Der Spiegel, the famous German magazine, shows a column in ruins holding up a broken one-euro coin. The headline is every bit as straight-forward: “Acropolis, Adieu!” referring to a song by singer Mireille Mathieu, who has a large following in Germany. The subtitle says: “Why Greece must leave the euro.”
Following the repeated failures to form a government of national union after the May 6 elections, the question of Greece leaving the euro zone is raised in an increasingly heavy-handed way by its German neighbor. In new elections which should take place in mid-June, the Greek coalition of the left (Syriza), which favors disengagement from the aid plans, might be elected.
An uninhibited tone
The center-left German investigative magazine has no qualms about favoring Greece’s exit from the euro, saying that “the Greeks were never ready for the monetary union and they still aren’t today. The attempts to prop up the country with reforms have failed.” The editorial states that the weekly magazine’s observers changed their opinion following the May legislative elections. “It’s clear that an exit is in the interest of the Greeks.” It justifies taking this position by stating that only this outcome would be beneficial, not to mention European interests: “Only Greece’s exit from the euro zone will give the country a chance, in the long term, to get back on its feet.” The magazine concludes by hinting that the successive failures result from bad will on the part of the country in crisis: “We want Greece to remain in the euro zone. But she has to want it, too, and has to fulfill her duties. We cannot oblige anyone.”
And yet, an exit from the euro zone would bury Greece beneath her debt, which she would no longer manage to reimburse with a return to the drachma. According to economist Christian Schulz, the aid she had received had, moreover, made it possible to avoid the “risk of a collapse of the banks of the euro zone (…) and to stop the spread of the contagion on the sovereign debt market.” An exit from the euro would force Greece to default.