Germany 'preparing for possible Greek exit from euro zone'

People making their way in central Syntagma Square with the parliament building in the background in Athens on Jan 6, 2015. Germany and France are taking a coordinated and calculated risk in the hope of averting a leftist victory in Greece's general
People making their way in central Syntagma Square with the parliament building in the background in Athens on Jan 6, 2015. Germany and France are taking a coordinated and calculated risk in the hope of averting a leftist victory in Greece's general election on Jan 25. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Germany is making contingency plans for the possible departure of Greece from the euro zone, including the impact of any run on a bank, tabloid newspaper Bild reported, citing unnamed government sources.

The newspaper said the government was running scenarios for the Jan 25 Greek election in case of a victory by the leftwing Syriza party, which wants to cancel austerity measures and a part of the Greek debt.

In a report in the Wednesday issue of the paper, Bild said government experts were concerned about a possible bank collapse if customers storm Greek institutions to secure euro deposits in the event that Greece leaves the zone.

The European Union banking union would then have to intervene with a bailout worth billions, the paper said.

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that Berlin considers a Greek exit almost unavoidable if Syriza wins, but believes the euro zone would be able to cope.

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that Germany wants Greece to stay and there are no contingency plans to the contrary, while noting the euro zone has become far more stable in recent years.

As the euro zone's paymaster, Germany is insisting that Greece stick to austerity and not backtrack on its bailout commitments, especially as it does not want to open the door for other struggling members to relax reform efforts.