EU, ECB said to be working on Greece exit contingency [update]

The European Commission and the European Central Bank are working on an emergency scenario in case Greece has to leave the euro zone, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said in an interview published on Friday.

The comments would appear to be the first time that an EU official has confirmed the existence of contingencies being taken for a possible Greek exit from the currency bloc. Speculation has been rife about such plans, but their existence has not been confirmed.

?A year and a half ago there may have been the danger of a domino effect,? he said in an interview with the Belgium's Dutch-language newspaper De Standaard.

?But today there are, both within the European Central Bank and the European Commission, services that are working on emergency scenarios in case Greece doesn't make it.?

Meanwhile, an industry source told Reuters Friday that De La Rue has drawn up contingency plans to print drachma banknotes should Greece exit the euro and approach the British money printer.

The source, who asked not to be named, said that as a commercial printer De La Rue needed to be alive to the possibility of a Greek exit from the single currency and prepare accordingly. [Reuters]