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Time to eject basket-case Greece from the eurozone

Published on 15 September 2011

THE Roman poet Virgil's famous maxim, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts", still rings true today - though at least when the modern Greeks' Homeric counterparts delivered their wooden horse to the gates of Troy, it had the appearance of a good offer.

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Today, as the Greek economy plunges towards bankruptcy and their beleaguered Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou tries to calm the Eurozone leaders by promising new austerity measures and taxes, we would be foolish to take their offers at face value.

The truth of the matter is that Greece is a basket case.

Only 25,000 Greeks have declared salaries of over €100,000 (£88,000) per year for tax purposes. Tax dodging and corruption are rife.

Repeated bailouts, funded mainly by Germany and France, have failed to stop the rot.

If the latest €8 billion bailout is withheld by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, because Greece has failed to meet its fiscal targets, the Greek government will not be able to pay any public sector salaries by October.

The frugal and responsible Northern Europeans are getting heartily sick of having to bail out the profligate and irresponsible Southern European economies.

The only solution is to throw Greece out of the eurozone, a club it should never have been allowed to join in the first place.

Struan Stevenson, MEP,

Conservative Euro MP for Scotland,

The European Parliament,

Strasbourg.

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