Ex-PM Samaras Reveals Chancellor Merkel First Proposed Temporary Grexit in 2012



German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, welcomes Prime Minister of Greece Antonios Samaras, left, to Berlin. File photo from 2012

The former Prime Minister of Greece, Antonios Samaras, revealed in a documentary aired by SKAI on Thursday night, that Angela Merkel proposed a temporary Grexit in 2012.

Samaras, speaking in the latest episode of SKAI TV’s ”Greek Bankruptcy” documentary, explained how during his first meeting with Merkel as the new Prime Minister of Greece, the German Chancellor revealed a ”Plan B” which involved Greece temporarily exiting the Eurozone for a specific period of time.

The former PM explains that Merkel showed him a series of slides with information depicting how bad the Greek economy was, back in 2012.

She then said: ”‘Look, I want to tell you something that you should keep in mind from now on. The journey you have to make is extremely difficult. If you want Greece to leave the Eurozone, then you should know that Germany has an alternative plan that will help Greece for a period of time, which we can decide”.

The discussion reportedly took place on August 24, 2012, two months after Samaras took office, at the peak of the first phase of the Greek financial crisis.

Samaras said that he stopped Merkel straight away, saying: ”We are not having this conversation; this isn’t happening and I don’t accept it. There is no way I will ever accept that Greece could leave the Eurozone.” He then added, for extra emphasis: ”You can now forget it.”

Samaras revealed that he didn’t tell anyone about this conversation, fearing that it could cause damage to Greek efforts to regain access to global markets.

Germany’s plan came back to the surface in the summer of 2015, however, after July’s referendum, when the German administration, openly proposed a ”time-out” for Greece. The German plan involved Greece leaving the Eurozone for five years, in an effort to fix its structural problems by devaluing its national currency.