NEWS

Statement by Athens Law School professors on the referendum

statement-by-athens-law-school-professors-on-the-referendum

The Greek people have been forced in recent years to endure severe sacrifices. The stabilization program of the Greek economy, as has been consolidated by the Greek governments of recent years, has brought a sharp drop in our living standards, and also a dramatic increase in the number of the unemployed, especially amongst young people, for whom the university community cares more than everyone.

With the political system of the country bearing significant responsibility, the burden of the crisis has not been evenly distributed. In this distribution, certainly our partners in the EU and our other lenders also bear serious responsibility. This unequal and inefficient distribution of the burden of the crisis has led a large part of the population to develop a reluctant and even hostile attitude towards the European institutions.

However, we must bear in mind that democracy and freedom in our country have been embedded and integrated smoothly, only after our entry into the European family. Economic growth and prosperity, but also the external security of Greece, were ensured with the help and many-sided support of our European allies. It is more imperative than ever that we realize that the Europeans are primarily our (co-)partners. Under this capacity they have become our lenders. The purpose of all the loans given to us is to serve the common European objective, in which the Greek vision for improvement of the living standards of all Greeks finds its proper place.

Today we have reached a point where the stakes are of historic proportions for our country. In the referendum of July 5, 2015 it is the European orientation of the country at stake. It is the safety and well-being of future generations that are at risk. Outside the euro and the EU, Greece is extremely weak and cannot stand on its own. Things will get much worse. The economic and social collapse of the country, which will ensue an uncontrolled bankruptcy, will dramatically worsen the lives of all of us and will literally destroy the weakest layers of our society, which have been already hit severely by the crisis. But we will not only lose the vital

Community acquis, such as the basic freedoms of the EU or its NSRF funding programs, or even the -so important for academia- exchange programs "Erasmus". Above all we will cut off the indestructible for decades bond that connects us to the most developed economically, spiritually and culturally union of states on the planet. We do not only face the danger of absolute poverty, but also of a total international isolation, with all that this entails.

The only way to avoid a social unrest or national division is to retain our country in the Eurozone and the European Union; for our further stay in the European family there is no reason for a referendum. However, since it is going to take place, we say YES to the European perspective of our country. Greece can live with pride and dignity only if it struggles within the European family.

[Signed by 88 members of the Law School]