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Leading European democrats hailed the apparent “huge benefits” that Athens had received since joining the bloc in 1981. But experts and insiders responded, insisting that membership of the bloc, the single currency of the European Union, was hugely detrimental to the bloc. Greece. Yannis Varoufakis, who served as finance minister during the country’s debt crisis in 2015, said her economic growth in the 20 years before joining the European Union “exceeded the period 1981-2010”.
He added, “Public debt increased dramatically after we entered the European Economic Community and then contemplated the 2010-21 tragedy that followed.”
In 2015, Greece was forced to undergo a severe austerity program to secure a bailout after its finances spiraled out of control.
The European Union, Germany and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to pump money into Athens’s struggling economy as long as it sticks to a set of deficit and spending targets.
At the time, Berlin considered temporarily expelling Greece from the eurozone to avoid the collapse of the rest of the single currency area.
The fiscal rules in place created a lot of anxiety about the European Union among the Greeks, who had to endure massive cuts to their government.
Yannis Varoufakis regrets Greece’s membership in the European Union on the 40th anniversary of its accession to the bloc (Image: GETTY)
Yannis Varoufakis, a former Greek finance minister (Image: GETTY)
Last night, President of the European Council, Charles Michel, praised Greece’s accession to the European Union, in a post on social media.
He said, “Since you formally joined, O Greece, in a common Europe, which has always been yours, you have known the best years of your history.
“They have permanently set you on the path to peace and prosperity.”
Mr. Varoufakis described Michel as an ignorant one. He replied: “Your ignorance has forgiven our history.
“Why should you know, for example, that our growth rate was so much higher and that our democratic transition was deeper before we joined the European Economic Community?
President of the European Council, Charles Michel (Image: GETTY)
“The bondage of our prime minister, seeing him speak, will remain forever without forgiveness.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Union, said the decision to join the bloc enriched both parties.
He stated that the country’s membership in the European Union is a non-negotiable aspect of its identity.
“The Union is getting great benefit from having Greece at its core,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a video message.
He said that the vaccination program in Athens was “the envy of many other countries”.
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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Image: GETTY)
The President of Brussels also tried to underscore the many clear benefits of EU membership that Greeks enjoy, including freedom of movement and investment on a large scale and the resulting quality of life.
Peter Klippi, editor of the Brussels Report website, said Greece’s decision to join the European Union was a “good idea”, but that its membership in the eurozone was a “bad idea”.
“For Greece, joining the European Union was a good idea, but joining the eurozone was a bad idea,” he told Express.co.uk.
Not only has the European Union provided it with a stable home in a family of Western democracies, but also facilitating trade in the European Union and lowering trade barriers have provided good economic opportunities.
The downside, however, has been the massive transfer of funds from the European Union that has been promoting cronyism in Greece for decades. Improving highways is a good thing, but not if it comes at the expense of fueling corruption that hinders economic development. “
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Klibi added that Greek citizens suffered greatly from Athens’s decision to join the European Union’s single currency bloc.
He said that the decision means that Greece is burdened with huge debts as a result of this move.
“Greek membership in the Eurozone, which is a fatal mistake, should be seen as another big move from Northern Europe to Greece,” he said.
“The euro allowed the Greek government to load Greek citizens with more debt than was possible in a national currency, due to the fact that Greek banks were able to receive liquidity from the European Central Bank and the devaluation of the currency in the Eurozone could go further than it is at the national level.
In this way, the properties of euro zone savers, most of whom reside in the richest member states of the eurozone, were expropriated to finance public spending by the eurozone governments.
“When things got worse and the Greek state was no longer able to refinance its debt, taxpayers and savers were once again asked to bail out Greece with billions of euros bailout plans, both overtly through the funds for democratically approved emergency bailouts as in secret, through the measures of the European Central Bank.