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EU ready to say adieu to Greece

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

European Commission says Grexit cannot be ruled out….reports Asian Lite News

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

At the end of a Eurogroup summit, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Grexit cannot be ruled out though he does not want Greece to leave the Eurozone.

“Friday morning will be the last moment,” Juncker said on Tuesday night, setting a deadline for the Greek government to present “credible and comprehensive” proposals to move forward, Xinhua reported.

The European Union has called a 28-member state summit on Sunday, signalling the bloc already has “a Grexit scenario prepared in detail”.

We have a humanitarian plan if needed, he said. “I am strongly against Grexit but I cannot prevent it if (the) Greek government does not do what is asked of it,” Juncker told reporters.

Meanwhile, former British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned that the ‘Greek debacle of 2015’ will not be the end of the euro crisis ‘but its real beginning’ – eventually dragging in Italy, Spain, Portugal and other southern European countries.

Mr Hague’s warning comes ahead of a crisis summit of Eurozone leaders in Brussels tonight amid warnings from Germany that the single currency could ‘blow apart’ if Greece is allowed to blackmail the rest of the Eurozone.

Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande were locked in a bitter stand-off ahead of yet another bid by eurozone leaders to prevent the debt-ridden state crashing out of the single currency.

Athens extended its ‘bank holiday’ until at least Thursday after the European Central Bank deferred a decision on whether to continue propping up the country’s financial institutions. But one American hedge fund, Balyasny, yesterday warned investors that Greek banks were on the verge of running dry, leaving the country 48 hours from civil unrest.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph today, Mr Hague hit out at European leaders for pushing ahead with the single currency despite warnings that it would trap some countries in permanent recession.

In May 1998 Mr Hague used a speech to warn that some countries in the Euro would find themselves ‘trapped in a burning building with no exits’.

The then Tory leader predicted ‘wage cuts, tax hikes, and the creation of vicious unemployment blackspots’.

Mr Hague said: ‘I hope the Eurozone leaders meeting today will remember that those of us who criticised the euro at its creation were correct in our forecasts. Otherwise they risk adding to the monumental errors of judgement, analysis and leadership made by their predecessors in 1998.’

Mr Hague said Germany will have to pay Greece ‘big subsidies forever’ to keep the currency together.

He said that even though the hard-left Syriza government has rejected ‘reasonable terms’ in return for a bailout the crisis is not the fault of the Greek people.

‘Greeks have experienced the loss of one quarter of their entire national income, following an unsustainable inflation of spending and debt which Eurozone membership facilitated.

‘The responsibility for this crisis lies with their own former leaders and those around the EU who gave them euro membership when they were not remotely suited to it, a triumph of political desire over dispassionate economic analysis for which ordinary people are now paying the price.

‘It is no good now expecting Greeks to sit quietly in a burnt out room of the burning building I described seventeen years ago.’

He urged European leaders to accept that the problem in Greece ‘is not a short term crisis, but a permanent one’.

He said the Greeks will not be able to turn round their economy in a ‘lifetime’ within the Eurozone.

He said: ‘This is not because there is something wrong with them; it is because they live in a different economic environment from Germany, and one that is not suited to being in the same currency.

‘In such circumstances, it is better to be able to leave sooner, with some generous support, than leave later with even greater resentment and failure.’

But Mr Hague warned the crisis could not be contained in Greece.

He said a ‘final truth’ was that the crisis ‘is not just about one country’.

 

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