ATHENS, Greece (AFP) – European parliament chief Martin Schulz warned Friday against any Greek exit from the eurozone, saying the country’s economy could collapse within days if it abandoned the single currency.
“Many people believe that it would be the end of a negative cycle but for me it would be the beginning of an even more negative cycle,” Schulz told German radio from Athens where he is due to meet Greek President Carolos Papoulias.
Fears of a Greek exit from the eurozone have spiked after an inconclusive election this month that saw a major voter backlash against painful austerity measures being adopted in return for a massive EU-IMF bailout.
“I am not saying this option does not exist, but I consider it very risky,” Schulz added, predicting the Greek economy “would collapse within days” and see European countries called on to give billions more in emergency funds.
The German Socialist said he did not think every option had been tried to stabilise the Greek political and economic landscape, and warned against “all those people who are betting on the collapse of the eurozone”.
During his one-day trip to Athens, Schulz will also meet Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the radical leftwing party Syriza which has threatened to tear up the EU-IMF rescue deal and is tipped to win new elections being held on June 17. – Agence France-Presse