Germany denies plans for a ‘Grexit’

Germany is not planning for a Greek exit from the eurozone and has not changed its policy towards Athens, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said yesterday, after the Bild newspaper said Berlin was working on contingency plans for such a move.

Mass-selling Bild said the government was running scenarios for Greece’s January 25 election, including a run on Greek banks, in case of a victory by the left-wing Syriza party, which wants to cancel austerity measures and a part of the country’s debt.

“I don’t know of any such plans and certainly the political leadership in the chancellery is not looking at such scenarios,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

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A spokesman for the finance ministry echoed his remarks.

Talk of a ‘Grexit’ has spiralled in recent days, but Seibert has stressed that German policy remains the stabilisation of the eurozone without the loss of any of its members.

It was reported that Berlin considered a Greek exit almost unavoidable if Syriza wins, but believed the eurozone would be able to cope. Syriza is ahead of other parties in Greek opinion polls.

Bild said government experts were concerned about a possible bank collapse if customers storm Greek institutions to secure euro deposits if Athens leaves the single currency bloc. The European Union banking union would then have to intervene with a bailout worth billions, it said.