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Russian representative: difficult decision for EU if to exclude Greece from eurozone

January 23, 2015, 6:44 UTC+3 ATHENS ATHENS January, 23. /TASS

The Russian representative doubted that European states would write off the debt, but most likely, they will agree on debt rescheduling

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ATHENS, January 23. /TASS/. Exclusion of Greece from the eurozone would be a difficult decision for the European Union and the eurozone itself, after billions of euros were provided for the country in loans, Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told TASS.

Chizhov participated in a two-day conference that opened in Athens on Thursday, “Back to the Cold War or Forward to Stable Relations. Relations in Politics and Energy between Russia and the West in the Black Sea Region”, held by the Greek Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.

When asked whether the eurozone could exclude Greece, Chizhov answered that though withdrawal was not envisaged, but nevertheless, British Prime Minister David Cameron had already outlined such prospects for Great Britain. As for Greece, it was unlikely that any of political parties, even the most radical, in Greece would raise the issue of a voluntary exit.

Theoretically, it may be excluded, but such a decision would be rather difficult for the eurozone and the European Union on the whole for several reasons. First, it would create a precedent. Second, the European Union has provided so many billions of euros for Greece, and an exit from the eurozone would write off all the debts. Even if the debts remained, but they were in euros, and it would be even more difficult to take them back, the diplomat said.

Besides, it would be not only a precedent. The Euro project will lose its attractiveness in the eyes of the rest world. Thus, they will think much before taking such a decision, he said.

A question is arising - what alternative? “I think there will be painful search between those who will come into power and European Union structures and the International Monetary Fund,” the diplomat said, adding he did not know how long it would last. Maybe these would not be the last elections.

The Russian representative doubted that European states would write off the debt, but most likely, they will agree on debt rescheduling.

It is interesting that publications appeared in media recently, remembering how many times Germany’s debts were written off the last time in 1953, and also in 1924, 1929 and 1932. But the debt writing off in 1932 did not save the country from Nazis coming into power. “So, let’s see,” Chizhov said. “Let’s wait for the results of the elections. It is clear that statements made by various political forces before elections differ from those made later in practical activities.

Russia needs a strong and united European Union, independent in its decisions and orientated at constructive equal cooperation, the diplomat said.

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