Arresting the central bank’s governor. Emptying its vaults. Appealing to Moscow for help.
These were the elements of a covert plan to return Greece to the drachma hatched by members of the Left Platform faction of Greece’s governing Syriza party.
That is from the FT, and there is more:
The plan demonstrates the apparently ruthless determination of Syriza’s far leftists to pursue their political aims — but also their lack of awareness of the workings of the eurozone financial system.
For one thing, the vaults at the Nomismatokopeion currently hold only about €10bn of cash — enough to keep the country afloat for only a few weeks but not the estimated six to eight months required to prepare, test and launch a new currency.
The Syriza government would have quickly found the country’s stash of banknotes unusable. Nor would they be able to print more €10 and €20 banknotes: From the moment the government took over the mint, the European Central Bank would declare Greek euros as counterfeit, “putting anyone who tried to buy something with them at risk of being arrested for forgery,” said a senior central bank official.
“The consequences would be disastrous. Greece would be isolated from the international financial system with its banks unable to function and its euros worthless,” the official added.
For all the flaws of the euro, the case for it has never been made more effectively.