Prominent Greek-Americans On Grexit, Tsipras & Greek Left (Video)

Some of the most influential Greek-Americans of the financial and political world spoke to Greek Reporter on-camera about a possible Greek exit from the Euro and comment on the popularity of the leader of Greece’s left, Alexis Tsipras. Watch the interviews below:


Thomas Belesis, CEO of John Thomas Financial said that “Greece needs some immediate action to stem the banks from running out of liquidity.”

“In my opinion it is best for Greece to go back to the Drachma and leave the Euro. I don’t know what effect this will have in the short term but in the long term it will be much better for the Greek people,” said Belesis.

On the rise of the left the Greek-American from Wall Street believes that “Greeks, because of their tough situation, will follow anybody who has a good story to tell.”

Spiros Voutsinas, President of the Atlantic Bank calls the return to the Drachma a disaster.

“I believe going back to the Drachma is the worst thing that can happen to the country. Once they go back to the Drachma, the country may experience true banckruptcy.”

On the possibility of Alexis Tsipras becoming Prime Minister, Voutsinas responds “I hope not.”

Van Vlahakis

Van Vlahakis, the self-made CEO of Earth Friendly products, has a different view on a possible exit from the Euro. He believes that a Grexit may not be a bad thing if the Europeans do not want to cancel the austerity measures and keep Greece in the Euro family.

“Greece made it for 3,000 years with the drachma and only 10 years with Euro. We can go back to the drachma if our partners want us to,” says Vlahakis in a email correspondence.
“But we cannot go back to Merkel’s insane programs that ONLY protect the rich and destroy the Greek economy.Let them take the price of losing hundreds of billions instead of killing the Greek poor. It is to the advantage of all for Greece to stay in Europe and the Euro but only if the agreement that the right wing signed and is killing the Greek economy is cancelled.
“The right wind will lie to the voters and try to say they have a different position than before, It is only a lie. Tsipras also should not lie to be elected. He should stay on his position and remove Greece from the coercive measures.
Vlahakis believes that Tsipras is the only solution but he should stay on course.
“Good wages and good jobs makes good consumers and a happy nation which will be a good customer for Europe’s goods,” concludes the Greek-American CEO of Earth Friendly Products.

Nicholas W. Lazares, Chairman and CEO of Admirals Bank, said that Greece is a small country to make an impact on the world’s economy.

“But in the context of History and the EU it is very important. I think of it as a far more important issue than the dollars and cents that are involved.”

In terms of having the left gaining political power, Lazares fears the social unrest that this change may bring to the country.

“What I fear is the political fallout from that kind of change. Certainly it has not been thought through at all in terms of what will happen going back to the Drachma. People aren’t going back to the villages and farm and leave off the land and this is essentially the only resort that is left with a left wing government,” points out Lazares from his Boston office.

Gus Bilirakis, a Greek-American congressman from Florida, stated that Samaras and Venizelos are two politicians that can govern Greece better than Tsipras and he added, “I don’t want to see a left government in Greece.”

John Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Red Apple Group, said that he is not familiar with the politicians of the Greek left, but whoever will be the next prime minister they need to settle in fast. He also stressed that a return to the Drachma might not be a bad move for Greece.

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