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Leonid Bershidsky

What If Greece Just Disappeared?

If Greece defaulted and dropped out of the European Union, it wouldn't be the end of the world.
A world without Greece?

A world without Greece?

Photographer: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In David Mitchell's novel "Number9Dream," a patient who says he created the world proves his point to a psychiatrist by making Belgium disappear from maps (where it is suddenly called Walloon Lagoon) and from people's memories. It's worth considering what would happen if Greece suddenly disappeared from our radars.

One morning we'd wake up and find no Greek news on our website of choice, no links to Greek stories on Twitter, no mention of Greece in European Union documents or Eurostat reports. A look at the map would reveal a country called Hellas still jutting into the Mediterranean to the south of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. It would be just another Balkan country.