ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to the Czech Republic for consultations after remarks by the Czech president that his country should not adopt the euro unless Greece left the single currency, a foreign ministry official said.
Greece’s leftist government held tough negotiations with its EU and IMF lenders for months before giving in to creditors’ demands for more austerity measures and signing a third bailout in August to avert Greece’s exit from the eurozone.
“My only concern regarding adopting the euro under the current stabilization mechanism is, that Czech taxpayers would pay for Greek debts,” Czech President Milos Zeman told Slovak news agency TASR last week.
“I was very disappointed from the result of the negotiations which almost led to the so-called Grexit, but eventually ended up with Greece staying in the euro zone.”
However, only the Czech government can decide a euro adoption. Both the government and the central bank have said that setting an entry date is not on the agenda now. Most Czechs currently oppose the idea, according to polls.
In response to Zeman’s comments, Athens said on Friday the Czech Republic has become a European Union member also because of Greece’s support. On Tuesday the Greek foreign ministry confirmed reports that its ambassador had been recalled.
A Greek foreign ministry official said the move was “a sign of frustration”.
Reporting by Robert Muller in Prague and Lefteris Karagiannopoulos in Athens, Writing by Renee Maltezou, Editing by Angus MacSwan