No legal mechanism to exclude Greece from euro – EC

Reuters/John Kolesidis
The European Commission (EC) isn’t considering the prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone, the EC has confirmed, commenting on the media reports that Athens could be excluded from the currency union.

“The legal mechanism that allows the exclusion of a country from the euro zone doesn’t exist. The European Commission relies upon the earlier agreements between Greece and international institutions reached on the basis of the new reform plan to extend the international financial aid to Athens,” the EC told TASS Friday.

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Earlier media reported that eurozone countries were reading in “the atmosphere of secrecy the plan to exclude Greece from the eurozone” in case Athens are declared bankrupt in May. The plan was worked out by the Finance Ministry of Finland in cooperation with Germany, the report said.

Fears of Greece leaving the euro soothed on Thursday when it repaid €448 million of its debt to the International Monetary Fund. In May Athens will need to pay another €768 million.

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Greece has been negotiating with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF – the so-called troika –since the Syriza party came to power in January. The new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has maintained he’ll put an end to the era of drastic cuts and will renegotiate its multibillion euro debt with creditors.

In early April Greece presented a revised 26-page reform plan, which the creditors criticized saying it lacked concrete proposals.

The next Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers is scheduled for April 24.