Greece—Tenth Member of the Common Market
Report from Greece
A MONTH before the Tokyo summit, another meeting having to do with economics took place in Athens, Greece. At this meeting the Greek government signed a document with representatives of the nine nations of the Common Market (officially known as the European Economic Community). Thus, Greece became the Common Market’s 10th member. The treaty will officially integrate Greece into the group as of January 1, 1981, after the other member nations have ratified the agreement.
Since the Common Market was established to try to eliminate customs barriers, and to unify transport, trade and farm policies, Greece expects to benefit. One way is in agriculture. Opening up before Greece is the possibility of selling its agricultural products in a huge market made up of over 270 million Europeans. And prospects are that they will obtain better prices than previously possible. Of course, for those who used to buy their products, it will mean higher prices too.
However, Greek industry may not be as competitive as that of the other nine nations because it is less modern. Hence, many wondered just how much the Greek people will really be benefited. As an Athens newspaper commented: “Our way will not be strewn with flowers, and one should not disregard or underestimate the difficulties we shall be called on to face.”
Keep in mind, too, that nine other European countries preceded Greece as members of the Common Market. True, they have gained some economic benefits. But have their economic problems been solved, or even reduced? Have they found a solution to their energy crisis, which threatens to crumble the foundations of the Common Market and the world economy as well? Has inflation been conquered in those countries, or unemployment?
Such questions justify the anxieties of those who are not so optimistic about these attempts to solve the problems, not only of Greece, but of all humankind, by imperfect human means.