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Carrefour ditches Greece 'due to economy'

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08:58 CEST+02:00

France's Carrefour, one of the world's top retailers, said Friday it would cede its share of a joint Greek network to deal with "challenges posed by the Greek economic context."

Carrefour said it would sell its interest in Carrefour Marinopoulos to Greek partner Marinopoulos but that the entity would remain an exclusive franchise for the French company in Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Albania and other Balkan countries.

The decision was aimed at "dealing with challenges posed by the Greek economic context," a statement said.

Carrefour plans to take a financial charge of around €220 million ($278 dollars) in connection with the move, it added.

Greece's economy contracted by 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, as the country stumbles through a fifth year of recession.

A general election on Sunday could see victory by a far-left party, Syriza, which has vowed to tear up a loan agreement with the European Union and International Monetary Fund that requires Greeks to accept stiff austerity measures.

Such a move might lead to a cut-off of emergency EU/IMF funding, which could in turn lead to Greece being forced to abandon the single European currency, the euro.

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