But at least a default and devaluation would offer a fresh start. Although the economy has been pummelled by six years of Euro-austerity, some of the fundamentals have improved.
The bureaucracy has been slimmed, taxes are now collected and, if debt repayments were taken out of it, the budget would be in balance. In truth, this is what EU leaders fear. Not that Greece will leave the euro and collapse, but that Greece will leave the euro and prosper.
A competitive Greek economy, exporting its way back to growth, might inspire Spaniards and Italians, who have also been paying the price of the euro, to follow.
For those Eurocrats who see the single currency as a component of political integration, that prospect is too horrible to contemplate.