January 15, 2015 / 10:20 PM / 5 years ago

Greece euro exit would be 'extremely dangerous' - ECB's Nowotny

VIENNA, Jan 15 (Reuters) - A Greek exit from the euro zone would be an “extremely dangerous” move for the country and a danger for the rest of Europe as well, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said.

Greek leftist opposition party Syriza holds a steady lead over ruling conservatives with little over a week of campaigning left for Prime Antonis Samaras to try to close the gap before a snap election on Jan. 25.

Financial markets are nervous a Syriza victory could trigger a standoff with EU/IMF lenders that results in Greece leaving the euro zone.

“It would be an extremely dangerous development for the Greeks and it would be a dangerous development for all of Europe because we know it is not just a matter of leaving the euro, it is a matter of leaving the European Union and I don’t think we should send such signals,” Nowotny told Austria’s ORF television in a segment aired on Thursday about Greece’s potential exit.

Nowotny, governor of Austria’s central bank, said on Monday a Greek exit, or ‘Grexit,’ from the euro zone would be a “catastrophe” for Greece and a “massive problem” for other euro zone countries. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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