Tags: Euro | Disaster | Greece | greek

Former Minister: Leaving Euro Would be ‘Disaster’ for Greece

By    |   Tuesday, 29 May 2012 01:51 PM

Former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinos told CNBC that although Greece should have undertaken reforms a long time ago, the euro is in the best interest of the Greek people and default would be “a disaster” for the country.

“Incomes would drop another 20 to 30 percent. Inflation would skyrocket up to 30 to 40 percent again,” Papaconstantinos said.

“Our European partners want us in the eurozone ... the stability of the eurozone would be very much weakened if one country exits, because the contagion effects are very hard to predict. So leaving the euro would be very bad for Greece and would be very bad for the rest of Europe.”

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown

Greece will hold elections on June 17. Their last election didn’t produce a clear winner and smaller parties were not able to form a coalition government.

Papaconstantinos told CNBC that he believed the last election reflected anger and disillusionment. The country needs time to implement reforms.

“We have managed to reduce the primary deficit by 8 percentage points in two years. This has never been done in any other country. We’re close to running a primary surplus,” he said.

Meanwhile, Greece's caretaker government says it will do all it can to ensure the loan-dependent country doesn't run out of cash amid the protracted political turmoil ahead of elections in June, the Associated Press reported.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras says that the government will do "anything necessary" to ensure that state can continue making payments and meeting its obligations, the AP reported.

He added that finance ministry officials are focusing on boosting flagging tax revenues, the AP reported.

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown


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