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EU to stay out of Greece election campaign: commissioner

07 january 2015, 12:16
European Commissioner for economics, taxation and customs Pierre Moscovic. © Reuters
European Commissioner for economics, taxation and customs Pierre Moscovic. © Reuters

 EU Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday Greek voters will be left free to choose their destiny in upcoming elections that could see radical leftists take the reins of government in Athens, AFP reports. 

The Commission, the EU's executive, "has taken no position in the Greek political debate. There is no call to vote one way or another," Moscovici told reporters on Tuesday.

"The Greeks will freely choose their next leader," he said.

Poll-favourite Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, has made it clear it opposes more austerity for twice-bailed out Greece and has left open the option of defaulting on the country's massive debt.

That stance has pushed European leaders to weigh in on the dangers of default, including a denied report from Germany that Chancellor Angela Merkel considered an exit by Greece from the eurozone a manageable option.

The report sent world markets in a downward frenzy on Monday, reviving fears that a eurozone debt crisis could be returning.

European Commission Vice Presdient Jyrki Katainen hit out at so-called "Grexit" talk and urged markets for calm.

"Speculations of Greece's exit from the eurozone are a waste of time," he said at a political conference in Brussels.

"Let's not create home-made problems when we need to stabilise the situation," he added.

A senior European official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Commission would "take stock" of its position after the Greek vote on January 25.

"No one should think that it is out of the question to deal with Tsipras," the EU official added.

The EU has been at pains to stay out of the fray after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last month warned Greeks against a "wrong election result", saying that it could see "extreme forces" take power.

Critics said his comments were out of line with the strict neutrality the EU should maintain on member state internal politics.

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