The British government is stepping up contingency planning to prepare for the “serious economic risks” posed by a Greek default and a possible exit from the euro, Downing Street has confirmed.
As David Cameron prepares to discuss the Greek crisis with the prime ministers of Italy and Luxembourg on Wednesday, No 10 confirmed the government was planning for the impact on businesses, banks, the financial sector and tourism. The chancellor said on Tuesday the UK government was taking “all steps” to protect Britain.
Whitehall officials, who held contingency planning meetings on the implications of a possible Greek exit from the euro in February, have stepped up their preparations in recent weeks amid fears that Greece could be on the verge of a debt default.
Eurozone finance ministers are due to discuss the crisis on Thursday, but there is little sign of a breakthrough after the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, denounced its creditors’ demands on Tuesday. He accused the International Monetary Fund of having “criminal responsibility” for the damage caused to Greece, and insisted the country needed debt relief to help it recover.
Greece has just a few days to reach an agreement before its current bailout expires on 30 June. Without a deal, Athens cannot access about €7.2bn of loans, which have been frozen while negotiations over pension reforms and tax rates have ground on.
via The Guardian