03:02 GMT19 April 2021
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    French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said that the idea of Greece withdrawing from the eurozone is unacceptable.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The German finance minister was wrong to claim that Greece could temporarily leave the eurozone, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said Monday.

    In July, Wolfgang Schaeuble stated that he did not rule out a Greek withdrawal from the eurozone, adding that the move could be "temporary."

    "I believe that Wolfgang Schaeuble was wrong and even came into conflict with his deeply pro-European stance. This stance, and I share it, is to strengthen the eurozone," Sapin said in an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper.

    According to Sapin, the idea of member states withdrawing from the eurozone is unacceptable.

    "If you allow a temporary exit [from the eurozone], it would mean that any country experiencing difficulties could hold back on finding a solution, [choosing instead] to make the adjustment in its own currency," the minister said.

    Sapin noted that the German finance minister's position would not affect Paris-Berlin relations, adding that he respected his counterpart's stance.

    Greece's massive debt to its creditors and its struggles to reach an agreement with them on a new bailout program have fueled speculation that the country might leave the euro.

    Following months of negotiations, Greece and its international lenders reached a preliminary agreement, in mid-July, on a new bailout package for the country, worth $95 billion, to be administered to the country over the next three years in exchange for economic reforms.


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