Coming back from the Christmas break, I retain the feeling of fatigue of my fellow Greek citizens. European institutions are perceived as a distant entity expecting from Greece to do ever more and pointing at the country as not doing enough. But once in Brussels I realized that the same sense of fatigue exists among European citizens. Greece is perceived as the student, given so much but improving so little, so late.
We have to overcome this fatigue. There is no time now. Time is money in our case.
If it is true that Europe is also responsible for the situation in Greece because Europe lagged to realize the depth of the crisis and respond adequately, we Greeks also have to understand that problems are real and they are not being set by the European partners. We have to fulfill our commitments, since becoming and remaining part of the Euro is a national choice for Greece.
Europe is mobilizing to save its currency – which is one of the main symbols of its unity. According to the Spiegel magazine, 75% of Germans wish that the countries of the Euro area remain together and 65% would not favor the return to the Mark.
So, not everything is gray.
Prime Minister Papademos – whom I met last week – has to be supported by the political parties and the social partners in its efforts: on Monday, when the troika-members will arrive in Athens, Greece should show that it is determined to proceed.
We can not continue to live with the illusion that we will remain in the euro area without responding to these commitments.