ECONOMY

ECB’s Nowotny says Grexit would be catastrophe for Greece

European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny thinks that a Greek exit from the eurozone would be a disaster for Greece, he said on Monday.

“For Greece it would a catastrophe, for the other euro countries a massive problem,” Nowotny said an event in Vienna.

The radical leftist SYRIZA party is leading opinion polls ahead of Greece’s snap election on Jan. 25, triggering fears of a standoff with EU/IMF lenders that could result in Greece leaving the eurozone. SYRIZA has pledged to cancel austerity policies imposed as part of Greece’s 240 billion euro ($284.2 billion) bailout, and try to negotiate debt relief.

Germany’s Angela Merkel has played down the chances of a Greek exit from the eurozone, but made clear she expected Athens to stick to the terms of its international bailouts after this month’s election.

[Reuters]