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, 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.
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.