Friday 9 December 2016

The euro is our currency - we must do whatever it takes to protect it

Brian Hayes

Published 29/06/2015 | 02:30

An anti-austerity protester burns a euro note during a protest outside the European Union offices in Athens
An anti-austerity protester burns a euro note during a protest outside the European Union offices in Athens

Michael Noonan is completely right when he said on Saturday that we are heading into uncharted waters on Greece. It's a fast-moving situation. Quite frankly, anything can happen between now and tomorrow night, when Greece reaches its IMF deadline and exits its existing bailout.

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Is this a moment in history like the summer of 1914, when Europe sleepwalked itself into a war that no one thought possible? When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and communism collapsed in Russia and Eastern Europe, the then leaders of Western Europe responded to the challenge of events. Is this a similar moment when European leadership comes to the fore? What's needed now, in responding to the Greek crisis, is high-quality European leadership and judgment. Everything must be done to avert this crisis.

The present Greek crisis has now entered a very dangerous phase. After months of negotiations, there is a rancorous mood among European leaders. You cannot make concessions or reach out to the other side if negotiations have been conducted in an atmosphere of bad faith.

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