Lately two of the greatest achievements of Greece as a member of the European Union are being questioned. These are the participation in the common currency and the pact for open boarders. Some years ago nobody would believe that we would reach the point when the Euro might no longer be the currency of Greece or that maybe the Schengen Agreement should be reviewed in light of the big wave of illegal immigrants and the potential vast wave of native Greeks fleeing a bankrupt country. Yes, states don't bankrupt - they default, but the banks and the companies that are necessary for a country's economic sustainability do bankrupt.
The odds that the Greeks may become trapped into financial, political and geographical isolation are pretty minimal but it is worrying that some people question Greece's commitment to European values, agreements and regulations. For the first time since Greece’s accession to the European community in 1981, Greece stands in the middle of a crossroad which connects the past and the future.
For the Greek people Europe isn't just a geographical, economic and political entity; it's deeply cultural. Here comes the Greek paradox: Greeks feel that it belongs in the core of the European experiment, because of its history and the will of each citizen of Greece for a law frameworked nation that operates perfectly without corruption while at the same time the Greeks do not complain about the corruption and sometimes find it legitimate that they should bribe or be bribed for something that already paid or have been paid to do. And that's the main particularity of Greece that holds the Greeks back from a decisive effort to unite and fight the continuous recession of the Greek economy.
As many times as our European partners stretch their hands to help Greece offering suggestions or support either it's financial or advisory, we build high walls and we refuse to take any measure, any step to reform our economy and state operation so that we revitalize our community as a whole.
Greece has benefited in various ways from its participation in the European Union. Many Greeks have studied abroad either for a bachelor or master degree, it became easier for everyone of us to travel across Europe without any restrictions and his helped Greece’s economy to become more extrovert in the sector of tourism, maritime and agricultural products and it also helped in the recent years to attract a bigger portion of the EU direct investment than before. Furthermore this unity of Greece with the European Union helped decisively the other members of the European family to get to know to Greece. Greece became a fashionable tourist destination which combined sightseeing with nightlife. Many Europeans choose Greece as their new homeland especially when they retire. Greece is the ideal destination every year for many Europeans, and the exchange of cultural elements keep on increasing.
Finally, we should always remember that the fact that the word Ευρώ is Greek but this fact doesn't mean that every euro banknote belongs to us. Each one of us constitutes Europe through our behaviour and each country of the European family through its politics. Nothing is imposed on us, nothing is given. We should always make efforts to go forward.