Greek 'time-out' from euro is an option: eurozone document

Brussels: Eurozone finance ministers included an option for a temporary Greek exit from the euro if Athens fails to agree a bailout deal, according to a document drafted today.

If a deal is reached, Greece's bailout needs could amount to between USD 91.5-96 billion, said the document submitted to eurozone leaders at an emergency summit. "In case no agreement could be reached, Greece should be offered swift negotiations on a time-out from the euro area, with possible debt restructuring," the document obtained by AFP said.

The passage was in brackets to indicate it was not unanimously approved and needs the approval of leaders. The document was submitted later today to the 19 eurozone leaders, who are hoping to reach a reform-for-bailout deal needed to keep Greece in the single currency bloc.

A man stands in front of a banner reading "Oxi" (No) in front of the Greek parliament, as leftist protesters take part in an anti-EU demonstration in Athens, calling for a 'No' to any agreement with the creditors which they claim would lead to further austerity measures, on July 12, 2015. Pic/ AFP

A European source had told AFP yesterday that Germany had drawn up plans in an "internal paper" for a temporary five-year Greek exit from the euro if it failed to improve its bailout proposals. But the potential "time-out" mentioned in today's eurozone draft did not refer to a specific time period. The draft text also took note of "the possible programme financing needs of between EUR 82 and 86bn, as assessed by the institutions".

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