Germany denies Schaeuble talk of Greece euro exit

KREFELD, Germany Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:42am EDT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) talks with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble before the vote for ratification of the European Union fiscal pact in the Reichstag, the seat of the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, June 29, 2012. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) talks with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble before the vote for ratification of the European Union fiscal pact in the Reichstag, the seat of the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, June 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

KREFELD, Germany (Reuters) - A deputy German Finance Minister dismissed a magazine report saying Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had told conservative members of parliament on Friday to prepare for a looming Greek bankruptcy and euro zone exit.

"This report is nonsense," Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter told Reuters on Saturday on the sidelines of a regional meeting of Christian Democrats in the western town of Krefeld.

Kampeter said that Schaeuble had spoken to the conservative MPs on Friday about the need for the austerity and reform measures in Greece to be implemented.

German newsweekly Focus reported that Schaeuble had told MPs in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the sister party, Christian Social Union (CSU), to get ready for Greece leaving the euro zone and a Greek state bankruptcy.

The magazine said in an advance of a report in its Monday edition that Schaeuble was talking to the MPs about the further development of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the euro zone's permanent bailout fund. He said that an aspect that would be necessary was to have a set-up for state bankruptcies.

Focus said that participants of the meeting heard Schaeuble say that in the view of many experts Greece would not make it "without an external devaluation." (Reporting By Matthias Inverardi; writing by Erik Kirschbaum)

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