Following the result of the Greek election, UKIP has cast doubt on the new ruling party’s ability to deliver on its promise of economic austerity.

“Let’s be clear”, said UKIP MEP Roger Helmer. “The Greeks have voted by a narrow margin to endorse a commitment which they are totally unable to fulfil. Greece is in a debt spiral. The Greek economy is shrinking.  Tax revenues are in free fall.  The economic plans approved by the EU and insisted on by Germany are simply undeliverable.”

Mr Helmer believes that the immediate euphoria in financial markets at the Greek result will be short-lived, like the response to last week’s Spanish bail-out, which lasted just hours.

The MEP challenges the view expressed by the government and some Tory MPs that “A Greek exit from the Euro would be a disaster”. 

“It’s typical of the EU that they reinforce failure,” he said. 

“Integration and monetary union are visibly failing – so they demand more integration. It’s time to recognise that monetary union was a bad idea, and to set free those countries like Greece that should never have joined in the first place.”

Helmer acknowledged that a Greek exit would cause short-term disruption, but argued that it could hardly be worse than the status quo. 

“If Greece leaves, they’ll have 18 months of chaos, then they’ll start to restore competitiveness, growth and prosperity, as we did when Britain left the ERM in 1992. If they stay in, they face decades or generations of grinding poverty, hunger and austerity,” he said.