Date: 18 May 2015, Politics and Current Affairs
Question setter: Adrian Stones

Greek exit from Euro?

By the end of July 2015, will the Greek government have announced plans to issue a national currency again?


Response:


Answer: No
Confidence level: 0%
Mean confidence level (all requests): 37.25%

Justification:
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Outcome: No
Score: 0
Mean score (all respondents): 37.25

Expert opinion:


Answer: No

Selected Expert Answer from Adrian Stones:
It remains highly unlikely that Greece will exit the euro. Despite some high stakes poker the government has already made concessions towards the Troika. Prime Minister Tsipras has accepted the need for a rise in VAT. He is currently buying time while he persuades the electorate of the need for substantial changes to pensions and state salaries. He has also shuffled the negotiating team. The side-lining of Finance Minister Varoufakis was much anticipated given his hostile posture towards European creditors. He has been replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Dragasakis and Economics spokesperson Tsakalotos, who represent the more centrist wing of the ruling party. Attempts to secure funds from Russia and China have failed and America has openly told Syriza to engage in more constructive dialogue.

But the deciding factor will be the overt desire of the economically active population in Greece to remain in the euro. Syriza came to power not because the Greek electorate suddenly shifted to the far left. It was voted in by middle class voters tired of being governed by an irrelevant administration. The government knows full well that to survive it will have to shift to the centre and that process is already underway.

Answer: Yes

Selected Expert Answer from Mettletest Panel:
Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party's desire to stay in power will propel Greece out of the Euro. This is not entirely for vainglorious reasons. Tsipras has a belief that he cannot abandon the Greek people who gave him the mandate to curb austerity and offer a chance of turning the country's fortunes. He is not going to be able to do a deal with the EU that allows him to keep on that course. The EU may try to strangle Greece into submission and they can do so if Greece remains within the Euro and the Union. That scenario may currently appear the most likely, as Greek brinkmanship is being played to gain European funds to prevent default. All parties profess that they wish Greece to remain part of the union. Yet, Greek attitudes may change, as the realisation dawns that years of pain under the strictures of the Eurozone may be as bad as the alternative - being a financial pariah on the outside. The latter scenario allows some pride of autonomy and the scope, eventually, to crawl back to growth with a weak national currency. Obduracy on both sides, compounded with wounded national feelings will cause a semi-accidental Greek exit and a new Drachma being issued.


Outcome: No

Comment on outcome from Mettletest Panellist:
It was a very close run thing. At various moments over the last few months it appeared that Greece would have to leave the Euro. We hear that plans were drawn up to issue a currency if the breach were made. The Greek people chose in a referendum to reject the austerity measures required as a condition for receiving the funds vital to stay in the Euro. This decision was unexpectedly ignored. Our star questioner, Adrian Stones had got the measure of the situation right: "Prime Minister Tsipras .... is currently buying time while he persuades the electorate of the need for substantial changes to pensions and state salaries..................The deciding factor will be the overt desire of the economically active population in Greece to remain in the euro."