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Greece summit: French say 'non' to a Grexit

Ben McPartland · 22 Jun 2015, 08:55

Published: 22 Jun 2015 08:55 GMT+02:00

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The fate of Greece and the Euro hangs in the balance on Monday with EU leaders set for a last-ditch summit in Brussels with the aim of averting a so-called "Grexit"

With a Greece exit from the Euro now considered a real possibility the French public appear to have a had a change of heart regarding that scenario.

Whereas in the past polls suggested the French favoured a Greek exit, a survey on Sunday showed a majority were now in favour of keeping Greece in the Eurozone.

Greece and its international creditors are wrangling to end a five-month stand-off and agree what reforms Athens will undertake to unlock the latest tranche of its multi-billion-euro bailout in time for it make its latest debt payment and avoid default by June 30.

Even in the event of a Greek default 53 percent of French people were opposed to a Grexit. That’s a big swing from 2011 when 73 percent of French favoured a Greek exit.

That view however differs greatly from the views of the German public, 58 percent of whom would prefer it if Greece simply left the euro.

France’s politicians were still hopeful a deal could be found.

Hours before Monday’s emergency summit France’s EU economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Greece’s place in the Eurozone will “largely be decided” on Monday.

Mosocovici believes a deal can be reached to avoid Greece defaulting on its debt and France’s finance minister Michel Sapin was also positive head into the talks.

Story continues below…

Sapin hailed the "quality" work around Athens' latest proposals to end Greece's debt crisis, hours before European leaders were to hold an emergency summit on the issue.

"I see the work that has been done. It is quality work," Michel Sapin told French radio, adding that the negotiations were proceeding in "good conditions".

Earlier the office of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the proposals, which the Greek premier detailed in a phone call with German, French and EU leaders, offered "a good basis for progress".

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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