Grexit debate stirs in Germany ahead of Greek PM visit
BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece will not leave the euro zone unless the country "totally refuses" to fulfill any of its reform targets, the head of the Eurogroup said on Saturday, as Germany insisted the crisis-stricken country must stick to the agreed reforms.
"It will not happen, unless Greece were to violate all requirements and not to stick to any agreement," Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker was quoted as saying in Austria's Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper days before meeting Greece's prime minister.
"In case of such total refusal by Greece with regards to budget consolidation and structural reform, one would have to look into the question."
Juncker said he expected Greece to double its efforts to fulfill its reform targets.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday there were limits to the aid that could be granted to Greece and said the crisis-stricken country should not expect to be granted another program.
With Greece in its fifth consecutive year of recession and social and political discontent rising, its Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is keen to soften the impact of budget cuts on society by extending the deadline international lenders set it.
Samaras is expected to float a proposal for a two-year extension when he meets with the leaders of France and Germany next week - he meets Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday - and with Juncker.
Juncker said for now such an extension was not urgently necessary and but also depended on the results of a troika mission of IMF, EU and European Central Bank representatives.
There is already a clause in Greece's 130-billion-euro ($160.7 billion) bailout deal that says the deficit adjustment period could be extended if its recession is deeper than expected. Continued...