Samaras warns euro exit would be a ‘nightmare’

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras told President Prokopis Pavlopoulos Thursday during an hour-long meeting that Greece would experience a “nightmare” if it leaves the euro.

Samaras met Pavlopoulos as part of an effort to increase pressure on the government to clinch a deal with lenders before the end of the month and to make New Democracy’s position on the issue absolutely clear.

“It would be a nightmare for the Greek people, for the country’s trustworthiness, for the future of our children and for Greece’s security given that our region is going through such a difficult time at the moment,” said Samaras, who encouraged Pavlopoulos to do all he could from his position to create the conditions for an agreement. The president, whose role is semi-ceremonial, spoke to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday but has also been in touch with his German counterpart Joachim Gauck and other foreign officials.

Samaras said that his party considers Greece’s membership of the eurozone non-negotiable. “Greece’s position in Europe and in the euro is a non-negotiable, national red line that is supported not just by New Democracy but by the overwhelming majority of Greek people and as such no government has the right to put this in doubt,” he said.

The New Democracy leader is expected to repeat this message at a party gathering in Trikala, central Greece, Friday.