Came here in 2019 because I develop in Python3 by default and came to the same conclusion as OP after seeing what'd be removed after running
apt purge python
Since what I really wanted was to call Python3 with just
python, I ran
sudo rm /usr/bin/python
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/python
This way, if Python2.7 is still needed, it can be called explicitly with
python2.7 while simply calling
python will default to Python3 because of the symbolic link.
I don't have any bash level scripts that call python2.7 with
python so this change wouldn't be disruptive - while other systems would need their scripts adjusted accordingly if they did.
The main barrier to a distribution switching the python command from python2 to python3 isn't breakage within the distribution, but instead breakage of private third party scripts developed by sysadmins and other users.
- The "python" Command On Unix-Like Systems
This answer isn't a direct response to OP, but as someone who had a similar question this is the functionality I was looking for when I was thinking of removing 2.7. Rather than delete, just prioritize which one gets to use