Greece euro exit ‘looks inevitable’

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Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A Greek exit from the eurozone appears inevitable and Britain must insulate itself from the effects, former Chancellor Ken Clarke has warned.

The Tory big beast branded the new government in Athens “latter day Trotskyites”, and said there was no way their demands could be met.

The Europhile MP’s comments, in an interview with the BBC’s Sunday Politics, came as talks continue between Greece and other member states over writing off some of the country’s debts.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party have promised to slash the bill and end harsh austerity measures, but Germany has insisted Athens must meet its commitments.

Asked whether the standoff would lead to a Greek exit – so-called Grexit – Mr Clarke said: “Just judging from the public statements of these latter-day Trotskyites who appear to have won the election in Greece, I can’t see how that can be reconciled.

“I hope a very great deal of work is going on to minimise the impact on financial markets, on the United Kingdom – because it affects us just as much anybody else in the western world – to make sure that any knock-on effects of from their exit are minimalised, and knock-on effects on the Greek people, who are going to suffer more … are also minimised as well.

“I can’t see how you can sensibly avoid the Greeks defaulting and the Greeks having to leave the Eurozone.

“It’s not anything to do with just the Germans, I can’t see why any other states should take a huge multi-billion pound hit again for the Greeks so they can hire more civil servants, raise their minimum wage (and) scrap all their labour market laws.”

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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