Greek ‘time-out’ from euro is an option: Eurozone document

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras speaking to the media as he arrives for the Brussels summit.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras speaking to the media as he arrives for the Brussels summit. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Eurozone finance ministers included an option for a temporary Greek exit from the euro if Athens fails to agree a bailout deal, according to a document drafted on Sunday and obtained by AFP.  

If a deal is reached, Greece’s bailout needs could amount to between 82 billion (S$123.6 billion) and 86 billion euros, said the document submitted to eurozone leaders at an emergency summit.  

“In case no agreement could be reached, Greece should be offered swift negotiations on a time-out from the euro area, with possible debt restructuring,” it said. 

The passage was in brackets to indicate it was not unanimously approved and needs the approval of leaders.  

 

The document was submitted later Sunday to the 19 eurozone leaders, who are hoping to reach a reform-for-bailout deal needed to keep Greece in the single currency bloc.  

A European source told AFP on Saturday that Germany had drawn up plans in an “internal paper” for a temporary five-year Greek exit from the euro if it failed to improve its bailout proposals.  

But the potential “time-out” mentioned in Sunday’s eurozone draft did not refer to a specific time period.  

The draft text also took note of “the possible programme financing needs of between EUR 82 and 86bn, as assessed by the institutions”.