Former Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Sara Eisen, saying that Greece has “a few weeks” before its government runs out of money and that this is a “make-or-break” period.
Papandreou went on to say “I did all that I could do” and that the “personal costs” were “worth it” to serve his country.
Papandreou on whether Greece will leave the euro:
“Despite the fact that many economist say if you leave the euro, you will be more competitive, you can devalue, a Greek exit would not only be bad for Greece, you’d have hyperinflation, 20% lowering of the GDP. Greece has become the precedent, a test case.”
On whether Greece is better off in the euro:
“Absolutely … I think now is the point where we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and look at reality and say this is the point where we have to make this decision, if we don’t, I believe we will have a small window of time over the next few months, maybe if we have that and even that … before we see a splintering of the euro. This is a make-or-break period.”
On austerity measures:
“We can have some modifications to the program. I would say yes to fiscal responsibility, which would also include a growth strategy not only for Greece, but for Europe because Europe is in a wider recession, many parts of Europe are in a wider recession, but also types of structural changes we need to become competitive. Now whether we can stretch out the fiscal adjustment for another year or so will take a little bit of pain out.”
On what will happen to Europe if Spain falls:
“We have reached the limit of patching things up. We have to make major decisions to create confidence in the market. Will we as politicians make decisions in time to calm the markets before they go haywire and create problems for Spain or any other part of Europe, that is the challenge and we have been behind the curve most of the last two years. I hope we have come to the realization that we can’t be behind the curve this time.”
On how long the Greek government has before it runs out of money:
“I think we have a few weeks, and that’s why it would be imperative that we first of all have a government and second we take necessary measures and show we are credible, we have signed up to this agreement, we may want some modifications, but we want to show we are credible when we sign as a government as Greeks with our partners. This is a make-or-break period.” On Europe’s crisis: