Only a 'miracle' can prevent Grexit, warns Finance Minister

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The chances of Greece leaving the eurozone are "very high", Latvian Finance Minister Janis Reirs said in an interview with public television Thursday morning.

“It appears now that this likelihood is very high. The ministers [of other eurozone countries] are not ready to accept Greece’s ultimatums and the current situation," said Reirs, who plays a role in negotiations while Latvia holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union.

"Ever since its elections, Greece has been saying that it is the international assistance and reform requirements that have been weighing Greece down. But in reality we see something else – those countries that carried out the reforms were those that coped with the crisis. Spain and Portugal are the latest examples,” said Reirs.

Latvia also succesfully completed an EU-IMF bailout program, though not of the huge scale of Greece's.

In his words, it would take a miracle for Greece to clinch a deal with its international creditors. “Nothing has happened in the last five months and it takes a miracle for member states to agree [to Greece’s proposals]. What is needed is a comprehensive reform plan that would include the balancing of expenditure, privatization and amendments to the labor law… So far Greece has been unable to do that. Today is the last day when it is still possible to reach an agreement and rescue Greece,” the Latvian minister said.

Reirs said that it is hard to predict what might happen if Greece leaves the eurozone. “European bureaucrats are working on plan A… The situation will be tough and difficult… For now, we only see that there might be great chaos,” the minister said.  

On Thursday, June 18, Reirs is attending an Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg at which ministers are expected to decide on the Greek crisis.

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