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Belgium says contingency planning for Greek euro exit exists
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere said on Wednesday that contingency planning for the eventuality of Greece leaving the euro zone was taking place, even if euro zone governments hoped it would never happen.
Asked by reporters ahead of an EU summit in Brussels whether there were contingency plans for a scenario of the debt-laden country leaving the single currency area, Vanackere said:
"All the contingency plans (for Greece) come back to the same thing: to be responsible as a government is to foresee even what you hope to avoid."
"We must insist on efforts to avoid an exit scenario but that doesn't mean we are not preparing for eventualities. I believe many countries have their contingency plans for the things they want to avoid at all cost, like terrorist attacks, and to say that we don't have a contingency plan would be irresponsible," he said.
Euro zone officials told Reuters that on Monday the Eurogroup Working Group, which prepares meetings of euro zone finance ministers, agreed that each euro zone country should prepare its own individual contingency plan for the possibility of Greece leaving the euro.
The Greek finance ministry denied any such agreement had been made in the working group.
(Reporting by Marine Hass and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Rex Merrifield)
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