Grexit: When Greece leaves the Eurozone?

Date of event: 9.4. 2015

The main speakers of the event were Lenka Zlamalova (journalist, ECHO24), Petr Robejsek (political scientist and advisor for strategic issues) and Zdenek Tuma (former Governor of the Czech National Bank). The president of the CEVRO Institute Josef Sima opened the event. The economic website ROKLEN 24 was the main media partner of the event.

Lenka Zlamalova concentrated on the current political and economic situation in Greece and possible consequences for the whole of the European Union. “Greece has paid its debts, but on Monday, they will not have money to pay pensions or other social services,” said the journalist. “J.P. Morgan, one of the most influential financial institutions announced that banks should count with the fact that Greece leaves the Eurozone,” continued Zlamalova. She also mentioned that the ruling party Syriza is trying to blackmail the EU by threats that it would allow undesirable migration to the Schengen area.  The current government is also seeking an oath to cooperate with Russia. According to the journalist, this situation needs to be solved before the trend spreads to other South European countries. Reportedly, Greeks have accepted that they are about to leave the Eurozone and they are acting according to that fact. At the same time, Europe seems ready to allow Greece to leave the Eurozone with dignity. “The sooner it happens, the better for both sides,” closed Zlamalova her remarks.

Zdenek Tuma presented his very realistic opinion on the Greek position. He reminded the audience that Euro should have become the most stable currency, but it didn´t work out. “It´s not important what currency the country has if it is bankrupted,” said Tuma. The former head of the Czech National Bank also explained the role of so-called fiscal illusion and overrated expectations. “The Eurozone was supposed to be the safest area with guaranteed currency stability. But these expectations were not fulfilled,” added Tuma. He said that being a member of the Eurozone does not say anything about the fiscal situation of the country and it also does not mean stability ever after. According to Tuma, the return to the drachma is not a solution as Greece is missing the trust of investors and is reluctant to accept foreign capital.

Petr Robejsek closed the panel with his rather euro sceptical remarks. The European integration, he claimed, was a tool to establish a unified Europe. But the project failed in both fields – politics as well as economy. “The Eurozone may have been established with good intentions, but it went a totally opposite way,” said Robejsek. “Selfish decisions made by the EU leaders caused the rise of euro sceptical parties that are reflecting the disappointment of the citizens, and also brought back old animosities that were forgotten – like anti-Germanism,” warned Robejsek.

As usual, the panel was followed by a lively discussion with the audience. Our thanks go to the media partner and our friends and colleagues from Civic Institute.

The photo gallery from the event can be found here.