Grexit? Germany plans Greece’s possible exit from eurozone – media

Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis
Germany is reportedly making plans for Greece to quit the eurozone, according to government sources, as cited by Bild, a German newspaper.

Berlin is allegedly preparing for the outcome of the Greek parliamentary vote on January 25: there is a possibility that the left-wing Syriza party, which wants to abandon the policy of austerity and cancel part of Greece’s debt, will win. It comes after the Greek parliament was unable to choose the country’s leader, causing it to be dismissed.

Bild also said German government experts expected a major bank run, should the Greek exit from the eurozone happen, as the country’s citizens would storm banks to withdraw euro deposits. In such a case, the EU would be forced to secure the banking system with a bailout of billions.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz was critical and said: “Irresponsible speculations on Grexit [Greek exit] scenarios are not very helpful.”

Communist affiliated protesters march in central Athens during a massive protest rally against unemployment and the austerity measures on October 4, 2014, as the country undergoes a new audit of its finance by the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank. (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)

“Unsolicited advice give people in Greece the feeling that their fate is not decided by their own votes, but by Brussels or Berlin, which could possibly drive voters into the arms of radical forces,” he told Die Welt newspaper.

Following the Bild publication, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Wednesday the German government wasn’t planning for a Greek exit from the eurozone, Reuters reported.

READ MORE: EU Commission on Grexit: 'Euro membership is irrevocable'

"I don't know of any such plans, and certainly the political leadership in the chancellery is not looking at such scenarios," spokesman Steffen Seibert said, as quoted by the agency. A spokesman for the finance ministry also commented there had been no change in the German government's policy on Greece.

A few days earlier Der Spiegel magazine reported that the German government views the Greek exit imminent if Syriza comes to power.

READ MORE: Germany believes eurozone can survive Greece exit – report

Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly called the possible Greek exit “manageable,” and one government source said: “The danger of contagion is limited because Portugal and Ireland are considered rehabilitated.”

Protesters shout slogans during a 24-hour general strike in Athens November 27, 2014. (Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis)

On Sunday, the German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel contradicted the report, saying that Germany wants Greece to remain in the eurozone, adding that the zone become much more stable over the past few years.

Syriza is currently leading the election race, according to several pre-election polls in the country.

The Euroskeptic party has gained momentum mainly due to public anger with harsh austerity measures imposed by the troika of international money lenders - the eurozone countries, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - in return for a 240 billion euro bailout to save the country’s economy.

On Monday, the party’s leader Alexis Tsipras wrote in the Huffington Post regarding his Syriza’s agenda that “on January 25, the Greek people are called to make history with their vote, and give hope to all people across Europe by condemning the failed memoranda of austerity, proving that when people want to, when they dare, and when they overcome fear, then things can change.”