France Determined to Keep Greece in Euro Zone

World | August 30, 2012, Thursday // 15:25
Bulgaria: France Determined to Keep Greece in Euro Zone French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici arrives for the Eurogroup Finance Ministers Meeting at the EU Headquarters in Luxembourg, 21 June 2012. EPA/BGNES

The expulsion of Greece from the euro zone will put at risk the whole single currency bloc, France's finance minister has warned.

"We must not minimize the significant shock that Greece's exit from the euro would represent," Minister Pierre Moscovici told the business daily Les Echos. "We want Greece to remain in the euro zone, provided it makes the necessary efforts."

Asked about Berlin's reluctance to allot additional aid to Greece, Moscovici replied that he and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble had set up a working group to forge a common position on Greece and Spain "but also on all issues linked to the Eurozone crisis: a banking union, the future of the euro, growth and competitiveness."

"We are ready to go further in European integration provided each step includes a further element of solidarity. That is why we have not dropped the idea of pooling national public debts," he was quoted as saying.

Moscovici made it plain that France continues to favor further support for southern Europe.

"Our first priority should be to resolve the problems of Greece, Spain and Cyprus," he said.

The statement comes shortly after last weekend, French President Francois Hollande met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Paris. After the meeting Hollande said Greece must show its commitment to reform before receiving further aid from Europe, fully in line with Merkel's firm line.

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Tags: Germany, greece, France, Eurozone, euro zone, Euro Area
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