Greece says it may exit euro

Tim Wallace
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GREECE will have to leave the Eurozone if the latest bailout package is not agreed by March, a government spokesman said yesterday.

The government is attempting to finalise a €100bn (£83.4bn) voluntary haircut on privately held debt as part of a wider €130bn bailout package.

If it cannot make investors agree by mid-March, the government will run out of cash – around €14.5bn in debt matures in the month, which will not be paid if the bailout is not in place.

“We will be out of the markets, out of the euro,” warned government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis (pictured).

As the state continues to struggle under its vast debt burden, he also told TV station Skai “there is a chance that there will be a need for additional measures – nobody can rule this out”.

Analysts believe the government has taken the unusual step of speaking so plainly about its difficulties to put pressure on the private investors.

“Greece is going to run out of money at some point soon – they cannot hide this fact, although it is surprising to hear them say it,” Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel told City A.M.

“Negotiations have dragged on for some time, and the government wants to stress that if investors do not take a haircut on their bonds, the situation will be much worse for everyone. It would not surprise me if these negotiations again went right to the edge of the timeframe.”