The Greek Point of View: Why The Heck Did Greece Join the Euro

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A lot of articles have been writen about why Greece was accepted into the Euro. Almost all these articles are from the view point of ‘why the heck did Germany agree to this?!”. Few articles look at it from the Greek point of view.

I also am getting more interested in Greece as I am currently reading Crete: The Battle And The Resistance (History & Warfare) by Antony Breevor. The book talks a lot about Greece during World War II, and the German occupation.

Bel0w is some research I conducted on the topic:

Approval of a referendum in 1974 saw Greece’s parliament give their country’s European affiliation a formal shape. This came as no surprise as their European orientation was evident to the whole world. It was in 1959 that a formal submission made this orientation concrete and resulted in a treaty being signed between the EU and Greece in 1961. The association has not been without its weak moments when in 1967 after dictatorship was announced in Greece their membership was frozen to be reactivated after democracy was reinstated in 1974 .

The choice of full accession made by the country’s government has a number of strategic motives which are as below:

Political instability experienced by Greece was one of the major motives that forced the country’s leadership to align itself with the European block and cement its association with EU. This notion has given fruitful results for Greece in terms of enabling it to provide the country with economic and political stability.

The association had its indirect benefits as well. It enabled them to announce their superiority in the region with regard to its power in negotiation. This helped them to subjugate any antagonist neighbours that they saw as threat to their sovereignty.

This accession to the union would enable Greece to embark on the journey of urbanisation and future development, resulting in the betterment of standard of living of its people. Special agreements and policies were formulated and presented to the union for the economic restructuring of Greece.

Greece’s journey toward the settlement in the EU can be divided into three phases.

The first phase saw Greece concentrated on entrenching itself solidly within the EU. The concentration in this period was mainly towards the general EU issues and inculcating reforms that would enable Greece to become a major player in the EU

The second phase saw Greece put the full force of the policy making towards using the EU and the benefits it brought towards economic growth and development.

The third period saw Greece working towards further integration into the EU. The aim here was to integrate every institution of the country with the EU. This culminated in country being a member of the euro currency.

Greece has been a chief benefactor of the EU budget; in 2009, EU transactions summed up to 2.35% of GDP. From 1994-99, about $20 billion in EU structural funds and Greece federal financing were exhausted on projects to urbanise and build up Greece’s transportation system in time for the Olympics in 2004. The pride and joy was the construction of the new international airport near Athens, which was inaugurated in March 2001 soon after the commencement of the new Athens subway system.

EU transfer continues to be the major contributors towards Greece’s structural funds. Other than that these funds supplicate to the country’s current account balance and help reduce the federation’s budget deficit. EU funds will continue to support the country’s financials with regard to its economic, human resource, and political development that would enable the country to address its rich poor disparity.

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