Contingency plan urged in case Greece exits euro

Irish finance officials have been told to come up with a contingency plan in case Greece exits the eurozone, according to diplomats.

It came as the National Treasury Management Agency said a no vote in next week’s referendum would mean “in all likelihood” that Ireland would not be able to return to the bond markets next year.

EU leaders meeting in Brussels last night discussed the growing crisis in Greece as the country waited for a second general election next month, and the euro fell to a 22-month low.

The Greek finance ministry issued a statement denying eurozone officials had agreed each country should prepare contingency plans in case Greece left the euro. However, a number of officials said they had agreed to “reflect” on what an exit would mean, not because they believed it was going to happen, but as a precaution.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the NTMA, which manages the country’s borrowing, has given him its “considered advice” that a rejection of the fiscal treaty would likely trigger the need for a second bailout.

Mr Noonan told the Dáil the advice “concurs with” his own views.


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