Mon Jun 4, 2012 7:8AM
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici pictured on May 21, 2012at a press conference in Berlin, Germany

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici pictured on May 21, 2012at a press conference in Berlin, Germany

French Finance Minister has warned that Greece’s exit from the eurozone will be on the agenda if Greek authorities do not respect the bailout deal after parliamentary elections in mid-June. "The question would be raised without a doubt.... if the Greeks themselves do not respect their commitments," Pierre Moscovici said on French Television on Sunday. "We sincerely hope that Greece remains in the eurozone," he said. However, Athens should impose required austerity measures if it planned to remain in the euro bloc, he added. His remarks were in response to a pledge by the Greek radical left leader, Alexis Tsipras, who promised on Friday to cancel the European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout deal if his party garnered enough votes to form a government. Moscovici said the situation would be “infinitely more complicated," and admitted that there were “reflections here and there” about the possibility of Athens exiting the single currency area. Tsipras’s Syriza party came in second on May 6 elections partly due to his pledge to overturn the austerity measures. In the first parliamentary elections, no party could either win a majority of votes or form a coalition government. Greek voters were outraged at two years of harsh austerity measures, which have been imposed in return for financial assistance. They abandoned the centre-right-centre-left coalition that had governed the country, and voted for more radical parties. Meanwhile, opinion polls released on Friday showed that Syriza and its rival the conservative New Democracy party could not gain a majority of votes in the repeat elections. The decisive June 17 votes, could determine whether the country would continue to comply with the austerity measures it agreed to with its European neighbors in exchange for endorsement of the second financial bailout. SAB/MA
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