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Opinion

Opinion: Let Greece go...

Greece should remain in the EU and the eurozone, everyone says. But they themselves ruined their chances of that ever happening, and all it took was one night, writes DW's Bernd Riegert.

The current Greek government is thinking about suicide, it appears. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who came to Brussels this week only for show, is asking his people to vote in a referendum on the compromise offered by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the Commission. This knocks the wind out of me.

The European institutions have bent their own rules to buy Athens a bit of time to make it possible for the Greeks to stay in the eurozone. They were ready to throw more money into the proverbial bottomless pit, so that Greece can finally start with their much needed reform process. Has this all been in vain?

Now the Greek government is adding insult to its already injurious demands for a continuation of the aid program through to the referendum in eight days - as well as more emergency loans from the European Central Bank. No conditions were given for these demands. Such ridiculous blackmailing has never been seen in the history of the European Union. The German parliament and its European partners simply cannot comply to this.

But what will happen, if the Greek people reject the offers made by the Europeans and the IMF? I'll tell you. Greece will go bankrupt and will be forced to exit the eurozone.

And what will happen, if the Greek people decide against its government in favor of the euro? Even then, a national bankruptcy beckons, because the international institutions simply cannot take the offers made by the Greek government seriously. The proposed aid package demands that reforms be made that the current government appears to have rejected, and that government wants to kick out the institutions who have been employed to make the necessary checks.

Deutsche Welle Bernd Riegert

DW's Bernd Riegert

Regardless of how you see, the anaconda around the neck of the Greeks won't go away. The European institutions who have jumped well outside of their shadow in order to negotiate with Athens, simply cannot comply with what Greece has offered. If Greece doesn't want to be helped, it will have to go.

Alexis Tsipras, apparently more interested in his power than the well-being of his people, is forcing his country into an abyss. It's just like in the dramatic Greek tragedy, when the hero has to die. For the creditors, this exit will be expensive, there's no doubt about that. And as an EU member, Greece will still need humanitarian aid. But nevertheless, I can say without any guilty conscience. We've had enough, Greece.