EU Finance Commissioner Ollie Rehn has played down any talk of there being one less member of the eurozone following calls by Germany for Greece to keep to the terms of its rescue package.
Berlin said the currency bloc is stronger than it was two years ago and would survive the impact of any possible Greek exit.
“I don’t want to speculate on the question of a possible exit of Greece from the euro. I don’t want to paint the devil to the wall if its not necessary.” said Rehn.
“It is more important now to be determined, especially in Greece, in order to form a coalition government and in a convincing manner to tackle the economic challenges of the country.”
Rehn’s comments come after Greek elections swung towards parties promising to renegotiate the IMF-EU bailout. Germany insisted Greece has to fulfil its duties if wants to remain in the euro.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told the Bundestag on Friday: “If Greece strays from the agreed reform path, then the payment of further aid tranches won’t be possible. Solidarity is not a one-way street. Solidarity does not work without solidity. What has been agreed, must be applied.”
Westerwelle went on to say that whether Greece stays in the eurozone is of its own choice.
Fitch warns eurozone
Credit rating agency Fitch has put the whole of the euro zone on notice that were Greece to leave the currency bloc as a result of its current crisis, the remaining countries could find their sovereign ratings at risk.
It said it was likely to put all euro area ratings on negative watch if Greece were to leave and that those countries which currently have a negative outlook on their ratings would be at most immediate risk of a downgrade.
It said those countries were France, Italy, Spain, Cyprus Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia and Belgium.
The agency, whose decisions along with those of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s help set the cost of borrowing by governments, said the extent of any downgrades would depend on how the eurozone reacted to Greece leaving.
Rehn plays down renewed talk of Greek euro exit