Neelie Kroes: Greece Exit Will Not Kill Euro
The expulsion of Greece from the single currency zone will not end the euro, the European Commission vice president has said amid further last-minute talks between the indebted country and the Troika of official lenders.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes told a Dutch newspaper that there would be "absolutely no man overboard" if Greece left the euro.
"What's a man overboard?" Kroes told the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant. "It's always said that if you let one country get out, or ask it to get out, then the whole structure collapses. But that's simply not true.
"The Greeks have to realise that we Dutch and we Germans can only sell emergency Greek aid to our taxpayers if there's evidence of good will."
A similar message was delivered with a more optimistic spin by Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the "eurogroup" of eurozone finance ministers, who said he had no doubt that Greece would remain within the eurozone, provided that it met its obligations to other members.
"The euro will outlive us all," he said.
Greek party leaders meet on Tuesday afternoon amid a general strike.
A previous meeting on Sunday night proved inconclusive, leading to further last-minute talks between Prime Minister Lukas Papademos and the Troika of official lenders on Monday.
The Greek economy is expected to suffer a fifth consecutive year of recession this year, and has already shrunk 12% since 2008.
On Monday, Greece agreed to pass a new law allowing more government employees to be fired - it is likely to lead to 15,000 civil service jobs being cut.
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