Angela Merkel 'asks Greece to consider euro exit referendum'
Friday, 18 May 2012
*German leader Angela Merkel has apparently asked Greek president Karolos Papoulias to consider holding a referendum on whether the country should leave the euro.*
Greek officials claimed Chancellor Merkel suggested the vote could be held alongside next month's general election to try to bring an end to the uncertainty about Greece's membership of the single currency, but that the president rejected the plan.
Angela Merkel wants Greece to consider its eurozone future (AFP/Getty Images)
Government spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras said: '(Merkel) conveyed to the president thoughts on holding a referendum along with the elections, with the question of to what extent Greek citizens wish to remain in the eurozone.
'However, it is obvious that the issue lies outside the jurisdiction of the caretaker government.'
A spokesman for the German government denied Chancellor Merkel had proposed the idea.
A general election earlier this month produced a hung parliament after parties opposed to the austerity measures imposed as part of Greece's international bailout made significant gains.
Negotiations about a coalition failed and another election will take place on June 17th.
If the anti-austerity groups make further progress in the next vote and are able to form the government, Greece may be forced to leave the euro - a development that may further destabilise the eurozone.
News of Chancellor Merkel's plan came ahead of the G8 summit at Camp David, where David Cameron will discuss the eurozone crisis with new French president Francois Hollande and other world leaders.
May 21 (Bloomberg) -- David Owen, chief European economist at Jefferies Securities International, talks about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's austerity policy, the risk of contagion following a possible Greek exit from the euro and European Central Bank