Time for an honest discussion

The time has come for an open, honest discussion on whether the country should remain in the eurozone or return to its former national currency. The fact that this discussion is considered taboo is wrong. Opinion polls show that the vast majority of citizens want the euro, even if this means that more sacrifices have to be made, though this is irrelevant. What is popular is not necessarily right when it comes to the country’s interests. This is not say I’be had a change of heart. I still believe that a eurozone exit would be a major disaster leading to chaos on the domestic front and unprecedented geopolitical isolation. I have absolutely no faith in the right- or left-wing politicians who would seize the opportunity in order to govern irresponsibly under a drachma regime. Institutions have been in a state of erosion for a while now and the country is moving away from Europe on a cultural level. Imagine what it would be like if we were to cut ourselves off completely.

This is not the point, however. Drachma supporters are hiding. Perhaps this has to do with opinion polls and the demonization of Grexit. Only a few of its supporters, such as SYRIZA MP Costas Lapavitsas and some other pundits, have the courage to champion their views. The rest are beating around the bush, clearly aiming for the country to return to the drachma not out of choice, but because, others will supposedly force it to do so. Politically, this is not honorable. Those in favor of the euro admit that, rightly or wrongly, eurozone participation comes with conditions and obligations. Those championing the euro without conditions and obligations are not being honest. They should come forward and take part in a mature, serious and civilized discussion.

Do you know who would benefit from such a conversation? Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, as this would be the only way for him, and the rest of us, to find out who would be willing to follow him down the painful road of compromise, within the eurozone. At the end of the day, polls show that about 25 to percent of the population favors a rift and, possibly, the drachma. There is room for political glory for those expressing this portion of the population. In a strange way, this side would bring together a motley of extremist elements from both sides of the political spectrum. For the time being, however, drachma supporters are waging their own war within SYRIZA and the government in order to undermine any kind of deal that could emerge. What is absurd and inexcusable is that 60 to 70 percent of us who favor the euro and Europe, including a large percent of SYRIZA voters, are passively observing a row between factions on which the country’s future depends.

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