Peugeot and Siemens chief executives warn Grexit would destroy Europe's economic recovery

Sarah Spickernell
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Siemens currently gets a large portion of its income from EU sales (Source: Getty)

The heads of some of Europe's largest companies have warned of the negative impacts a Greek exit from the euro would have on the wider European economy.

Read more: Greece on the brink ahead of crisis talks

They argue that although Greece accounts for just two per cent of the Eurozone's economy, losing it from the bloc would diminish confidence and investment in the area, leading to lower share prices and higher borrowing costs.
Today Eurozone finance ministers are holding an emergency meeting to try and reach an agreement with Greece, which desperately needs to unlock bailout funds to meet its repayment deadline to the IMF at the end of this month. If it doesn't, there are fears it will default and ultimately have to leave the Eurozone, possibly even the European Union.
Joe Kaeser, chief executive of Europe's largest engineering company Siemens, told Bloomberg he had concerns of an “economic” nature. “That’s something which needs to be looked at because of the Grexit type of debate,” he said. Siemens currently makes €30bn each year from sales in the EU.
The news came just as the bloc is starting to make some economic recovery, thanks to a combination of falling oil prices, a weaker euro, and a rigorous bond-buying programme. In the first quarter of the year, its economy expanded 0.4 per cent.
Carlos Taveres, head of Peugeot Citroen, said:
Anything that could destabilize the fragile European economy is a priori bad for our business,” he told Bloomberg. “Europeans are slowly regaining some confidence, this confidence is leading to an improvement in spending and thus for the auto market.
Companies likely to suffer significantly at the hands of a Grexit are Deutsche Telekom, which would have to write down the value of its 40 per cent stake in Greece's Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, and Vodafone, whose Greek operations currently amount to 2.1 per cent of its income.
But even those who won't be directly affected are getting concerned. According to Remo Ruffini, head of winter clothing maker Moncler, it is not sustainable to just keep finding small solutions.
“For our industry it is not a big market, but there could be a strong impact in case Greece exits the euro,” he said.

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