Greek exit would trigger eurozone collapse, says Alexis Tsipras

Greek prime minister warns of the ‘the beginning of the end of the eurozone’, but says a deal between Athens and creditors could be close

Alexis Tsipras warned on Tuesday that the failure to agree a rescue deal for Greece would spell the end of the eurozone as he submitted a revised package of reforms to negotiators in Brussels.

The Greek prime minister said if Greece fails, Europe’s leaders will have a bigger disaster on their hands because “it will be the beginning of the end of the eurozone”.

Tsipras was speaking after what appeared to be a co-ordinated move by world leaders at the G7 summit to caution Athens against resisting demands by its troika of creditors – the European commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – for further austerity and far-reaching reforms.

The US president, Barack Obama, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the Greek people should accept the need for painful reforms to put the country on a sound financial footing. The French president, Françcois Hollande, said that if the gap between both sides was unbridgeable and Greece left the eurozone, the currency bloc had sufficient funds to cushion the blow.

In an interview with Italy’s Corriere Della Sera, Tsipras said the suggestion that a Grexit would be easily manageable was flawed. Instead, he argued, it would trigger the unravelling of the whole European project.

“I think it’s obvious. It would be the beginning of the end of the eurozone.

“If the European political leadership cannot handle a problem like that of Greece, which accounts for 2% of its economy, what would the reaction of the markets be to countries facing much larger problems, such as Spain or Italy which has €2tn of public debt?

Full article: Greek exit would trigger eurozone collapse, says Alexis Tsipras (The Guardian)

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