Saturday 1 October 2016

Greece crisis: Ireland among EU countries making contingency plans for Grexit

Published 18/06/2015 | 07:36

Greek Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis listens to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressing MP's and ministers at the Greek Parliament a few days ago
Greek Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis listens to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressing MP's and ministers at the Greek Parliament a few days ago

The Government is forming contingency plans in the event of a Greek default or possible exit from the eurozone, according to reports.

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The news comes as European finance ministers are to meet in Luxembourg today where crunch talks on how to avoid a Greek default and possible eurozone exit are set to dominate proceedings.

A group of Irish officials are examining “all scenarios” as talks between Greeks and its creditors, according to Bloomberg which cited an unnamed source.

Bloomberg said that the Irish team, headed up by deputy head of the finance ministry Ann Nolan, has decided that the direct impact of a Greek exit would only have a small impact on Ireland.

A spokesperson for the department of Finance said that department officials and representatives from other state agencies “make contingency plans for a range of issues”.

The Department did not comment specifically on any contingency plans relating to Greece.

The increasingly acrimonious public standoff between Greece and its creditors continued yesterday, with the European Commission disputing claims by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that lenders were imposing “humiliating” terms on Athens.

Hopes of a breakthrough at a eurogroup meeting of European finance ministers, once seen as the last opportunity for an agreement, now look increasingly remote.

Athens must find a way out of the impasse by the end of June, when it faces a €1.6bn repayment due to the International Monetary Fund, potentially leaving it bankrupt and on the verge of exiting the euro zone.

As it was confirmed that both German and British leaders are making contingency plans for the expiration of Greece’s bailout programme at the end of the month, in a sign that there may be room for compromise Greece’s main negotiator Euclid Tsakalotos said Greece would be willing to make concessions. However, he warned that cuts to pensions is a non-negotiable issue.

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