The European Central Bank is making preparations again for a Greek exit from the euro, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
The article so far is light on detail.
Here is a rough English translation from the piece:
The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing for a Greek exit from the monetary union ... Information obtained by SPIEGEL, an internal simulation games how the rest of the eurozone could be held together.
This comes just a day after another German media source said the ECB wanted capital controls to be brought in to halt any potential capital flight from Greece. The piece suggested that the governing council of the central bank favoured the move, but the ECB denied it had even been discussed.
Back in 2012, during the worst days of the euro crisis, the ECB was undoubtedly planning how Greece would manage an exit from the eurozone, despite denials at the time. The Financial Times unearthed what became known as "Plan Z," the top-secret blueprints for what a Greek exit (Grexit) might look like.
President Mario Draghi also said there was "no plan B" for Greece back in 2013, something we now know wasn't true.
French President Francois Hollande is also backing that line today. Ahead of the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers, Hollande said that "Greece is in the euro zone and it must remain in the euro zone... I know of no scenario today involving a euro zone exit," according to Reuters.
But Edward Scicluna, Malta's finance minister, poured more petrol on the fire. Here he is in MaltaToday, suggesting that a Germany-led bloc could prod Greece out of the euro:
"I think they've now reached a point where they will tell Greece 'if you really want to leave, leave,'" finance minister Edward Scicluna told MaltaToday.
"And I think they mean it because Germany, the Netherlands and others will be hard and they will insist that Greece repays back the solidarity shown by the member states by respecting the conditions," Scicluna said ...
"Unfortunately for Greece, they do not know how the rules and the Eurogroup work. They are completely new and that's a drawback for them," Scicluna said.
It is widely believed that if Greece did exit the eurozone, the financial impact on the rest of Europe would be manageable, rather than the falling-dominos-like catastrophe that was feared from 2010 t0 2013. That is not accepted by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who thinks the euro itself would fall apart if Greece exited.
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See Also:REPORT: The ECB wants Greece to impose capital controlsThese are the 18 key players in Greece's crisis negotiationsHere's what happens if Greece is forced out of the euro