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German-Greek MEP: 'betrayal cliché part of euro problem'

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German-Greek MEP: 'betrayal cliché part of euro problem'


Christophe Midol-Monnet, euronews: “I’m here at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, with Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a German member who is of Greek origin — having an interesting vantage point on the present crisis, since he combines both Greek and German points of view.”

“Mr Chatzimarkakis, welcome. Would you say that the latest developments in the crisis of the euro have had a negative impact on the relations between Greece and Germany?”

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis: “Greece traditionnaly has very, very friendly relations with Germany. Greece depends also very much economically on Germany, but some elements of the relations in the last two weeks brought up ‘ressentiments’ [bad feelings]of the past, and that was very, very hard because I did not believe that these would come back so easily, so fast. It has definitely to do with panicking; people in Greece are panicking because of the economic and financial crisis.”

Euronews: “What do you think of the stance taken by the press and the media both in Greece and Germany?”

Chatzimarkakis: “Well, we have a free press in Europe, and we can be proud of the freedom of expression, and as a politician I will never touch it.
Nevertheless, there have been some exaggerations on both sides, starting of course with the magazine Focus, and I say very clearly, the expression “Betrayer in the eurozone” was a cliché that can not hold for all Greeks. But it was understood as this in Greece. And this — in my opinion — started the whole problem.”

Euronews: “In the wave of discontent in Greece, do you perceive a rise of euroscepticism?”

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis: “I think, in the short run, people will run into this crisis being shocked, and will blame the European Union, but in the longer run this programme of stability will help overcome some instabilities in the Greek system that have been there all the years, and in the long run, Greeks will understand it is modernising Greece and it’s for the good of Greece.”

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