A plan for the return of Greece to the national currency – The New Drachma
Date posted: August 22, 2015
For the past five years, the conversation about Greece returning to the national currency has sparked many “fires” in televised conversations between the supporters of Drachma and the defenders of Euro. However, most of the times this conversation is not being made with fair rules. The arguments that the euro-defenders are presenting in case Greece will leave the eurozone, are those of total destruction, poverty with no end, shortage of food, shortage of medicines, even a war. Of course you will never hear them explaining why and how we going to have these results, they are just going to happen, and even thinking of leaving the eurozone it’s a sin.
However, there are many voices supporting the idea of returning back to Drachma. Many of them have presented also a plan, a roadmap of how we can achieve this. One of them is Dimitris Kazakis.
Dimitris Kazakis is an economist-analyst who gained experience by working for corporations in Greece but also abroad. He is a columnist having his signature in many newspapers as also he had his own radio show in Athens. Also, Dimitris Kazakis is the founder of the political party EPAM. Kazakis started gaining popularity after 2010 when the Greek crisis just began. Kazakis from the first moment supported the idea of returning back to Drachma. That was something that no one even thought back then to express in public. Kazakis was the first to do it, and since then he started gaining many supporters. He predicted the haircut of the bank accounts in Cyprus, this was something that forced the major tv channels to have him in their news, but after that we rarely saw him in any major channel. You can only see Kazakis in small local channels; he is not so favored by the mainstream tv news.
For Kazakis, the first thing Greece needs to do is to write off its debt on its own. The way to do this is by going to UN and declares the Greek debt as illegal. Kazakis says that this has happened in the past by other countries, and Greece has all the proofs needed in order to declare the debt as illegal.
The next step is to leave the eurozone. The country needs to announce that is leaving the eurozone and returning back to the national currency. The national currency will need 6-8 months until can be received by the country, and in the meantime the country will use the euro but basically in an electronic form. The country will be able to credit the bank accounts and the citizens will be able to use them with a debit card.
One of the major questions you can hear in his interviews is about the needed imports for Greece. How would Greece continue importing after leaving the eurozone? Kazakis answers this by showing the 27bn euros in foreign exchange which Greece has. Right now the trade deficit of Greece is 3.5bn, and even if this deficit will go double reaching 7 or 8bn, the 27bn in foreign exchange will cover Greece for the first months. At the same time Greece will be able to strengthen its exports because of the soft currency; this will result in more foreign exchange coming into the country.
Many will ask him about oil if Greece will be in a position to import oil. Kazakis says that any deal on things like oil or armaments would be made through transnational agreements. There will be no intermediaries as it happens now. Also in many cases, Greece would be able to pay for oil and armaments not with money but with other offerings and agreements. For example, there is a great interest from the Russian government for the shipyard in Neorio. Kazakis believe that he can grant access to Russians in return for oil or any other kind of energy.
In the question of how steady the new currency would be, Kazakis says that it can be as steady as we want. There is a great advantage for the new currency, it is a total new currency, the markets could not find it anywhere in order to play with it and devaluate it. The new currency will have a locked devaluation towards euro by 20%. The currency will not be available to the markets for at least two years. After that, the currency will start being available but with some limitations.
For the Greek banks, Kazakis believes that the country needs to have at least some banks under control. Through those banks, the state will be able to support financially the reorganization of the primary production as also any new idea that can offer to the productivity of the country.
Kazakis supports that the return in the national currency is not by itself the solution. There are things which need to be done along with the return to Drachma. One of them and the most important for him is the annihilation of the parasitic structures in the Greek economy. Things like intermediaries in any kind of purchase from the state, laws and agreements which are in favor of the oligarchs, special treatment for corporations. Also, Kazakis believes that without punishment for all those who had their signatures in the surrender of the Greek sovereignty to the creditors, the people of Greece will not support the government.
In my opinion, Kazakis plan has a start, middle and an end. It’s one of the most well-worked plans for returning to the national currency. Dimitris Kazakis is a very experienced economist specialized to the Greek Crisis. I believe that he has all the needed requirements along with other people to execute a plan like this. If I ever meet him I would suggest him only one thing. He is a kind of a lone wolf. But the circumstances in our country demand from all of us to leave this kind of mentality. Dimitris Kazakis needs to come in an agreement with others who support the return to the national currency and together to form a political party. A strong political party which will be able to be heard. The people of Greece need to know that there is an alternative solution. An alternative solution which could bring hope, and the lost dignity back to Greece.