Project Brexit

Greece

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President

Prime Minister

Prokopis Pavlopoulos (New Democracy party, centre-right, since February 2015)

Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA, far left, since January 2015)

Population 10,955,000
Size 131,957 km2 (50,949 sq miles)
MEPs 21 (joined the EU in 1981)
Next presidential election

Next legislative election

2020

On or before 20 October 2019 (although usually elections are called before the end of the four year term)

Presidency of the Council July – December 2027
Last meeting with Theresa May None held to date
Brexit priorities With a fragile economy, Greece is mostly concerned with what the economic impact of Brexit will be. Fluctuations of both the euro and the pound can have great consequences for foreign investment in Greece. Tourism is the country’s most important industry and with two million British tourists visiting the country yearly, it will be vital for Greece to maintain steady currencies and good relations with the UK. Greece also wants to maintain tuition costs for Greek students studying in Britain. The Bank of Greece has estimated that the cost of Brexit for Greece ranges from 0.4% to 0.8% of Greek GDP.

The UK and Greece also have common interest in getting an agreement on the unification of Cyprus, an EU country with three guarantor powers: the UK, Greece and Turkey.

What Mr Tsipras said on Brexit 26 June 2016

“As much as the decision of the British people saddens us, it is a decision to be respected. We must not put the blame on the British people … when the borders remain open on austerity policies but stay closed for people.”

Brexit is “a wake-up call” and a “predictable crisis because of the democratic deficit, because of the absence of social cohesion and solidarity.”

Greece’s priorities This anti-austerity Government  vowed to renegotiate bailouts worth €240bn granted by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank. In return, the Government now has to introduce spending cuts and other economic reforms, while tackling the major issue of (youth) unemployment. The IMF recently called for debt relief, but many EU countries are reluctant to give it due to domestic pressures.

Furthermore, Greece has also been hit hard by the refugee crisis, with many refugees entering the country without being able to travel any further. This has put great pressure on the country’s resources, which is why the Greek Government aims to resettle refugees throughout the EU.

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