Amid growing concern worldwide that after the elections on 17 June Greece will be forced to leave the euro, the National Bank of Greece conducted a special survey to express the quantitative implications of the return of the drachma. In the unacceptable scenario of exiting the euro zone, the gross domestic product will shrink by another 22 per cent. From the beginning of the crisis in 2009 until the end of 2011, the gross domestic product dropped by another 14 per cent.
The effects on individuals will be severe too, as the income per capita will drop by 55 per cent. Those in the lowest income bracket will suffer the most and unemployment will reach 34 per cent.
The National Bank of Greece provides that the drachma will be devalued by 65 per cent of its nominal value. The state will not be able to finance itself and will therefore resort to printing money, thus triggering the vicious circle of inflation. The economists of Greece's largest commercial bank forecast initial inflation of around 30 per cent, which will keep increasing for a long time because of the need to increase prices of imported goods.
In the case of GREXIT, the financial term for Greece’s exit from the euro area, the country will not have access to world financial markets and will not be able to meet its obligations to creditors, amounting to 325 billion euro. Suspension of debt payments will have extremely unfavourable consequences for the international relations of Greece as well as for the Greek businessmen doing business abroad, forecasts the study by the National Bank of Greece.
This will further worsen the standard of living and the citizens will have no access to fuel, medicines and other essential supplies. Bank economists warn that the above conclusions are valid only in the case of a smooth and peaceful transition to the drachma. In the event of an uncontrolled bankruptcy of Greece, the consequences will be even more dramatic.
The National Bank of Greece suggests several changes in the Memorandum of financial stability that would ease the burden on the weakest social groups and would drive society to support the country's reforms. One proposal is the extension of fiscal consolidation and social support for the poor.
Of course, the largest financial institution in Greece warns that this can be done only by a decision of the European Council and after ratification by all national parliaments in the European Union. The preliminary condition is the strict adherence to the programme for financial stability and the achievement of macroeconomic targets, the study states.