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Greek mythology about euro

In a land of ancient myths, Greeks have created some of their own about their near-bankrupt country's future as an integral part of a Europe that will never kick them out.

world Updated: May 23, 2012 00:27 IST

In a land of ancient myths, Greeks have created some of their own about their near-bankrupt country's future as an integral part of a Europe that will never kick them out.

Solemn warnings from abroad that Athens cannot stay in the euro while rejecting the terms attached to the billions offered to pull Greece out of its financial hole are widely disbelieved in a land that considers itself the envy of foreigners.

However bad their prospects, many Greeks seem to think that since money to bail them out was found in the past, it will be found again, whatever politicians say.

Nor do they believe that Europe will simply cast them loose, despite growing signs that Greece is heading for the exit from the single currency and towards the economic and social catastrophe that would follow.

"There's a lot of money in this country. They just need to tax the rich and it would solve so many problems," said seamstress Argiro Maniati, 55.

Like many Greeks who punished mainstream parties in a fruitless May 6 election that has brought Greece to the edge of a political abyss, she thinks politicians have exaggerated the threat of euro expulsion to scare up votes for failed policies.

She thinks politicians have exaggerated the threat of euro expulsion to scare up votes for failed policies.

In what many foreign partners see as the great Greek paradox, opinion polls show over 75% of Greeks want to stay in the euro, but two thirds oppose an international bailout.

Frankfurt and Brussels say it is impossible for Greece to have one without the other.