France won’t rule out Greek exit

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FrenchFlag REUTERS A French flag.

The new French government said Sunday that Greece's exit from the eurozone was still possible if Athens violates its bailout deal after elections in mid June.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told RTL broadcaster that “without doubt,” the question of an exit would have to be raised.

“We sincerely hope that Greece remains in the eurozone,” Moscovici said. But the precondition is that Greece holds up its end of the bailout and austerity plan even if the government changes in the elections.

The elections on June 17 loom as a watershed for Greece. All polls indicate a neck-to-neck race between the conservatives of New Democracy and the radical left wing coalition, Syriza, which wants to scrap the austerity plan and negotiate a new bailout programme.

Since tumultuous elections on May 6, Greece has not had a governing majority to run the country. Greek voters abandoned the centre-right-centre-left coalition that had governed, and threw their votes to extreme left and right wing parties.

In May, the G8 leaders of the world's leading industrial countries agreed that they did not want Greece to leave the eurozone. - Sapa-dpa

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