'Grexit' is a thing of the past, says Greek prime minister

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday night said that the so-called Grexit of Greece from the eurozone is a thing of the past, "a sad memory."

Speaking at an event to inaugurate a local branch of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation in cooperation with the Konstantinos G. Karamanlis Foundation, Samaras said that Greece has experienced and is continuing to experience a crisis of unprecedented proportions, adding that that the crisis has also revealed "the weaknesses and contradictions of the European structure."

"There was a time when the impression was that Greece's ejection from the European family was inevitable," the prime minister said, adding that "this view now belongs in the past."

"It is a sad memory," Samaras said.

"One year ago Greece was an example best avoided. Today the Greek success story is becoming a symbol of a new European dynamic," Samaras said.

The Greek prime minister expressed his concern about skyrocketing unemployment, which has reached nearly 30 percent in the overall population and around 60 percent among young people as the country enters its sixth year of recession.

However, Samaras added, "how many countries could survive this? How many countries could succeed under such circumstances to push through such sweeping structural reforms without falling apart, without losing their cohesion and their sense of self-respect?"