Greek crisis is Greece’s responsibility – lawyer

A Berlin-based lawyer and professor, Markus Kerber, explains that the European Union should not have provided Greece with any credits or bailouts in the first place, saying that such steps have no legal grounds.

­“We have a bailout prohibition in the European Union Treaty [the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union], Article 125, which expressly says that we have a monetary union, and a monetary union without collective financial or fiscal solidarity,” he told RT. “There is only solidarity in case of natural catastrophe, like earthquakes. The Greek crisis is no earthquake, it’s a governance problem. It’s generated by Greece and it’s Greece’s responsibility.”

In his opinion, the reason why other EU players are attempting to save the Greek economy is panic. As people believe that the Greek crisis may be contagious to more developed economies, like the French or German, politicians become afraid, and people who are afraid take unreasonable decisions, like providing Greece with generous credits. In fact, Kerber continued, leaving Greece to deal with its own crisis by itself would not pose any danger to the eurozone.

“Let’s focus on sober facts. Greece represents about 1.2 per cent of the Gross National Product of the European community. This is really peanuts, I say this with great respect but, economically speaking, it is not an important country,” Markus Kerber concluded.

Deutsche Welle journalist Simon Young, referring to the official reaction from Berlin, disagrees, saying that not only was the bailout necessary to save Greece’s economy, it was also crucial for the stability of the entire eurozone.

“Chancellor Merkel said today that this was really a very good piece of news [that the Greek parliament had voted for massive new austerity cuts]. And of course the German government continues to focus on trying to avoid a Greek default,” he told RT. “They see that as the main danger here. Chancellor Merkel said that if the Greeks were to default on [their] debt, that would throw the whole eurozone into chaos, and it would unleash a crisis worse than the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”