Greece Crisis: No 'contagion' in event of 'Grexit', says Finance Minister Michael Noonan
There'll be no contagion effect in the event of a Greek exit from the Eurozone, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.
Mr Noonan said European governments had gone as ''far as they're going to go'' to prevent Greece leaving the single currency, and that the option now was to '''prepare the B plan''.
On his way into a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg this afternoon, Mr Noonan said the Department of Finance, the National Treasury Management Agency and the Central Bank have been discussing a possible exit at a ''high level''.
''We don't think there'll be a contagion effect if there was a Greek exit but we've had the conversations at a high level with the NTMA and the Central Bank and we're watching the situation,'' the minister said.
''We're taking advice from the European Central Bank and Frankfurt and from elsewhere. But it's a European issue rather than an Irish issue.
''There is still time and there is still space for a further discussion and a further set of proposals.''
Earlier German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal between Greece and its creditors was still possible if Athens showed the necessary will, amid mounting pessimism that the austerity-hit country might crash out of the Eurozone.
Talks have deadlocked, amid looming debt repayments by Greece and the fear of a potential default.
Mr Noonan said he believed that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis would be making an intervention during today's meeting, but said he didn't have any further details.
And he didn't appear optimistic that it could lead to progress.
''I've heard Yanis' proposals before and they tend to be more macro economic in nature rather than specific, and negotiations are about specifics,'' the minister said.
''I wouldn't have any great expectations of a positive outcome from today's meeting. I think that it will be discussed but it will be a preliminary discussion to a longer political discussion at the heads of state and government meeting.''
Asked how far member states are prepared to go to prevent an exit, Mr Noonan said: ''I think they've gone about as far as they're going to go.
''The option is to prepare the B plan.''