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What would happen if Greece leaves the Euro zone

04 September 2011 / 13:09:00  GRReporter
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A scientifically sound, fantastic but terrifying scenario by the economic newspaper Handelsblatt describes  what would happen if Greece leaves the Euro.

Titled "What would happen if ...?"

A team of economists at the newspaper, under the leadership of Dirk Heilmann outlined the worst scenario, i.e. how the Euro zone could disintegrate. A research associate of the team that developed the scenario is Clemens Fuest, a professor at Oxford University.

- Under this scenario, in February 2012, the debt crisis in Greece would intensify, the Greeks’ patience and willingness to reform would reach their utmost limits, the public opinion would rebel and the government of Papandreou would fall, losing the confidence vote in parliament.

- The new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras would announce in the April 2012 that Greece would leave the Euro zone and the return to the drachma. The exchange of the euro and the new drachma would be 1:1, all bank deposits would be converted into the new currency and Athens would offer exchange of government bonds in the new currency at 80% of their nominal value. The government would close the banks for three days, make currency checks and prohibit the euro outflow abroad. The stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Paris would collapse as well as the Cyprus banking system.

- Three days later, the Greek banks would emit the euro with a stamp that says "New drachma." The Greeks would be able to draw a 50 Euro note from one account from ATMs. The police in the cities would guard banks and public buildings. Depositors in Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy would try to withdraw their bank deposits. Banks would be open only for several hours. State heads and government would double the funds in the budget support mechanism. The banking crisis would have already reached to Europe.

- In June 2012, the banking crisis would intensify even more. Portugal would leave the Euro zone. Massive protests against the new austerity measures imposed by the euro zone would begin in Spain and France.

- In July 2012, under pressure from the U.S. President Barack Obama, Brussels would decide to introduce the Eurobonds. The USA would fear of a new global economic crisis. Germany and France would issue Eurobonds worth 100 billion to support Spain and Italy. In Germany, the coalition deputies would resign in protest against the introduction of Eurobonds.

- At the end of that month, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel would lose the confidence of Parliament, which would refuse to accept the Eurobonds. The Liberal Party would leave the coalition and Merkel would rule with a minority government tolerated by the Social Democrats until the next election. Then an impressive decline in the stock market would follow. Thousands of demonstrators in Rome, Paris and Madrid would protest against Germany.

- One month later, Merkel and Sarkozy would decide at a secret meeting to introduce the "euro of the north" and invite the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Estonia, Austria and Slovenia to get involved.

- The Bundestag would approve Germany’s involvement in the "euro of the north" two weeks later and the introduction of a common fiscal policy. The euro area would comprise of one third of the countries of the European Union.

- It is clear that the ruined European Central Bank would be no longer able to provide financial stability. The value of the new euro would be overvalued compared with the currencies of the countries expelled. German products would be very expensive and consumers in the countries of southern Europe would not buy them. German companies would be experience serious difficulties. Chaos would reign on the markets and the Euro skeptics would prevail. A referendum would restrict the free movement in Europe and the domestic market. Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder recalls that he has warned years ago that if no care is taken for Europe, finally it will remain nothing but a historical fact.


Tags: HandelsblattEconomic newspaperScenarioEuro zoneNew drachma
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