Stournaras Says Acropolis, Symbol of Democracy, Saved Greece in Crisis

Αssociated Press

FILE - Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras gives a speech at the annual meeting of the bank's shareholders in Athens, on Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - Greece’s creditors would not the country go under and leave the Eurozone during its near decade-long economic crisis because of its ancient Acropolis, the hill that represents Western civilization and democracy, Bank of Greece Gov. Yannis Stournaras said.

He told reporters after presenting the bank’s Interim Report on Monetary Policy to the Parliament’s President that, "Our partners would not let the cradle of civilization and democracy collapse. Another country would not have had the same fate," he said, while expressing his satisfaction with increased market liquidity, said Naftemporiki.

The Acropolis has stood for 2500 years, surviving wars, occupations, bombings and the theft of many of the Parthenon’s marbles by Lord Elgin, a Scottish diplomat who took them during the Ottoman Occupation and sold them to the British Museum, which claims the stolen goods are now British, and not Greek.

Starting in 2010, successive Greek governments sought aid that turned into three bailouts of 326 billion euros ($361.21 billion) that came with harsh austerity measures and several times since them there were worries it would have to leave the bloc of countries using the euro as a currency.

The closest was in the summer of 2015, six months after the Radical Left SYRIZA took power as then-Premier Alexis Tsipras reneged on the results of a referendum he called asking Greeks to support him against the creditors in rejecting austerity.

They did, he didn’t as he imposed more to get a third rescue package, this one for 86 billion euros ($95.29 billion) and as his threat to take Greece out of the Eurozone became a failed bluff when the European Central Bank (ECB) said it would pull liquidity, which would have brought down the economy and also likely the government.