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Moscow sees Greece 'closer to euro exit' after bailout referendum

06 july 2015, 10:47

Greece has moved a step closer towards a eurozone exit, Russia's deputy economy minister said Sunday, as early results from a crucial bailout referendum suggested Greeks had overwhelmingly rejected creditors' demands for more austerity, AFP reports.

"You can't fail to understand" that this means "a step towards an exit from the eurozone", Alexei Likhachev was quoted as saying by the state TASS news agency.

Official results from half of Greece's polling stations showed more than 61 percent of Greeks had voted 'No' to creditor demands for further austerity in return for a bailout.

"Greece's eventual exit from the eurozone will be a kind of shock therapy for the European Union," Likhachev said, forecasting a drop in the euro against the dollar initially but "not in a catastrophic manner."

"But if the European Union draws the right lessons" there will be a budgetary clean-up within the zone and the euro will rebound, he said.

He said other countries could follow Greece's example and leave the eurozone which would "have irrepairable consequences for the EU and the euro" but stressed that this was "unlikely but theoretically possible."

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