Greece urged to revert to Drachma

Conservative leader in the European Parliament Martin Callanan has urged EU politicians to put economics before politics and let Greece ditch the euro.

He said Greece was now a “lightning rod” for the continuing crisis and should revert to the Drachma.

Mr Callanan, who heads the European Conservatives and Reformists group, was speaking after European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told MEPs in Strasbourg that the crisis could only be beaten by backing financial measures with polices for jobs and growth.

Mr Barroso insisted: “There is no strong economy without a strong currency; there cannot be a strong Europe without a strong euro. It is therefore no surprise that those who oppose a strong Europe also do whatever they can to undermine the euro.”

Mr Callanan responded: “The eurozone has experienced several months of a sugar rush thanks to the European Central Bank’s cheap credit. Now, the sugar has worn off and the hangover has kicked in.”

He went on: “The euro still faces the same problems. Solutions will only be identified when our leaders decide to put economics ahead of politics, and hard-nosed realism ahead of federalist romanticism.”

One option was that Germany – Europe’s paymaster – agreed to permanent flows of money from northern Europe to southern Europe.

The other was that “we allow the lightning rod of this crisis – Greece – the opportunity to leave the euro and devalue its way back into the marketplace.”

Mr Callanan added: “The choices are simple: either Germany pays, Greece leaves, or the euro fails. The choice seems obvious.”

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage told Mr Barroso: “In Spain mass unemployment gathers by the day and internal democracy is now under threat; in Italy growth figures are falling and the bond spreads are worsening – and now an IMF official has said that it is obvious that at some point the euro break-up will happen...the euro is doomed”.

Mr Farage went on: “Mercifully, economists the world over now say that it is inevitable that the euro will break up. It is just a question of how.

“And I really hope that the IMF now decide to stop pouring good money after bad into these bail-outs and I really do hope that not one penny piece more of British taxpayers’ money goes into propping something up that should be allowed to die.”

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