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Spiegel: ECB prepares for a Greece exit from euro zone

The European Central Bank is preparing for the event that Greece leaves the euro zone and its staff are readying contingency plans for how the rest of the bloc could be kept intact, German news magazine Spiegel reported in a preview of its magazine.

The ECB declined to comment on the report.

The German magazine also reported that the ECB was pushing Athens to introduce controls on the movement of capital.

Earlier this week, the European Central Bank denied a report in a German newspaper that it wanted Greece to introduce capital controls to stem the outflow of deposits from its banks.

Germany's finance minister was hostile to Athens' proposal this week although the government softened its tone on Friday as euro zone finance ministers raced to break the deadlock.

Much of the German media has also been skeptical about Greece's new government's attempts to renegotiate its aid-for-reform program.

The ECB agreed a modest increase in emergency funding for Greek banks on Wednesday, keeping pressure on Athens to strike a financing deal with its European partners before its lenders run out of money.

Greek banks have seen deposit outflows pick up in recent days as the new leftist-led government has failed to agree an extension of its international bailout, which expires on February 28.

[Reuters]

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