Not in the style of the local political scene, three Greek Members of European Parliament sat together around a roundtable to discuss the Greek crisis and its European dimension among themselves and with citizens. George Koumoutsakos from New Democracy, Anni Podimata from PASOK and Nikos Chrisogelos from the Green environmentalists, who had initiated the discussion, expressed regret that "everything about the crisis is associated with Europe but little is heard about the European reality in Greece."
"The European model of development is in transition because it is under pressure not only from the crisis, but also from emerging economies like China, for example. These are authoritarian states in the inside but behave like liberal ones and it is difficult for liberal democracies to cope with their pressure," noted the "blue" George Koumoutsakos. As he pointed out, Greece is also in transition after the old system is dying, but the new one has not yet appeared.
He described as particularly dangerous the fact that some question the strategic orientation of the country. "They are not telling us what the different option is. Is it the countries of Latin America?"
As for the rhetoric of all parties for renegotiating the Memorandum of financial assistance, George Koumoutsakos said that in Europe, there is always an opportunity to correct the details, if they do not go beyond the agreed outcomes. "For this purpose, however, it is necessary to take concrete actions." In his opinion, Greece's partners have also made mistakes. "Germany has been following a specific strategy: control over the crisis, but no quick solution." In this way, Berlin has had the time to make the European integration as it has always wanted, but was opposed by France.
George Koumoutsakos expressed his belief that after the election of Francois Hollande by the second European economy in terms of power, the German strategy has already cracked. "Increased unemployment and deepening recession, even in such a small European country like Greece, is a blow to the foundations of the European system of values and it has become clear to everyone in Europe," he said.
Vice-President of the European Parliament Anni Podimata also said that Europe was late to recognize the crisis. "What is completely incomprehensible to Europeans is the inability to achieve political and social consensus in Greece."
Another problem, according to her, is the allegations and threats made by the Greek state that are totally beyond the European logic. "Everything is decided through discussions and negotiations there. The worst thing is that the Greek tactics have made even some of the strongest supporters of the country withdraw their support." In her opinion, Greece can pay the price of this policy regardless of the economic programme.
"Yes, Europe has been late to realize how dangerous the crisis is and how it can spread. Then, Germany really followed the tactics of creating an unattractive solution in order for other countries not to follow the Greek example." According to her, the European structures have already changed the course to development. "It is a shame now, when things are starting to take another direction, for Greece to be at a crossroads. We do not even know who will represent the country at the summit in two weeks, where crucial decisions will be taken."
Nikos Chrisogelos accused Greek politicians of hiding the consequences of Greece’s exit from the euro zone from the public.
"What I learned in Europe is that everything can be achieved through a dialogue. On the other hand, it is not possible to have only requirements without presenting an action plan developed by us."
According to the Member of the European Parliament from the Greens, withdrawing from the European currency would mean withdrawing from the entire process of European unification. "If we do not reform our administration and do not take actions, they simply will not take us seriously. They just cannot understand the Greek mode of action and unfortunately, our country has gradually begun to separate." He expressed his fear that the warning that Greece could end up outside the euro area is probably not a bluff, "as some political forces in Greece state."
SYRIZA’s Member of European Parliament Nikos Houndis was intended to attend the discussion but was not there to explain exactly how his party is promising the Greeks that they will stay within the euro area, after all the rest - liberals, socialists and environmentalists, are warning of the consequences of the story into which Greek voters have plunged.