The Greek governments are to blame for the country’s present state, former president of the European Commission Jacques Delors said in an interview for Kathimerini newspaper on Sunday.
“When the government of a country does foolish things, unfortunately this results in a price that ends up being paid by the people,” Delors was quoted as saying.
Delors said he did not regret Greece’s joining the eurozone (in 2001), although he would have recommended postponing it for two or three years. “Greece should have started to strengthen its economic presence in competitive terms in order to be able to resist the intense competition within the eurozone,” he said, explaining his stance.
Asked to comment on the eurozone’s future, he said that “the Economic Monetary Union must stand on tis own two feet – the economy and the currency – to repair the dysfunction of the original scheme” in order to be able to promote a way of governing based on true economic and currency integration.
To the question of whether Greece, as EU president, carries credibility in Europe, the veteran politician said he had been misled, as other Europeans had, by “statistics carried out in Greece, and, as a result, the financial data for 2004 and 2009 had to be revised.” He added however that Greece has since exerted great effort, while its people are facing a very difficult time.
Delors was president of the Commission from 1985 to 1995. He was first elected deputy to the European Parliament in 1979 and chaired the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee until May 1981. Greece became a full member of the European Union in 1981.