AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The head of the Eurogroup said on Thursday that Europe is prepared for any outcome to the standoff between Greece and its creditors.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the group of finance ministers of countries that use the euro, had been asked specifically whether there is a “plan B” in case Greece should be forced out of the euro zone or defaults on its debts.
“(Is) the eurozone prepared for eventualities, the answer to that is: ‘yes’,” Dijsselbloem said.
Dijsselbloem, who is also the Netherlands’ finance minister, was answering questions at a meeting with members of Dutch parliament.
Dijsselbloem said he hoped that discussions with Greece would become more productive after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled his team of negotiators discussing a resumption of the country’s current bailout programme, sidelining Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
“Hopefully we were able to make a kind of new start this week,” he said. “I say ‘hopefully’ because of course the result has yet to be seen.”
Dijsselbloem said he could not confirm reports in Greek media about statements by Tsipras and Varoufakis on which of various economic reforms they might apply to satisfy Greece’s creditors.
“I wish that less time would be given to interviews, and more on extraordinarily conscientiously working on keeping Greece from the threatening abyss,” he said.
Reporting By Toby Sterling; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt