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Latvian MinFin: Greece should leave eurozone; the sooner, the better

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 27.07.2012.Print version
It is time to stop clinging to the illusion that Greece will be able to solve its issues while being part of the eurozone, Finance Minister Andris Vilks (Unity) said in an interview on Latvian Radio this morning.

It is necessary to come up with a way to "throw out" Greece. "The sooner, the better," pointed out the minister.


Vilks explained that Greece's economy is extremely weak and the nation's mentality prevents such austerity measures as in Northern Europe, writes LETA.


"Greece's situation is very, very difficult, said the minister, pointing out that the country's economy has stagnated for five years. Greece's economy is weak, drastic reforms are hampered by the nation's mentality. Therefore the situation can only be improved by Greece leaving the euro area.


Vilks emphasized that Latvia could provide assistance in this regard, since the country has experience in transitioning from the Soviet ruble to the Latvian ruble to the lat.


Greece must not bring down Europe's economy even further, pointed out Vilks.


Commenting the situation in Spain, Vilks admitted that it is not only necessary to help the country's banking sector, but also provide a full-scale stabilization program, just like in Portugal, Ireland and Latvia.


According to the minister, Spain's economy is stronger than Greece's. Spain's recovery would positively affect the entire economic situation in Europe and trust in overcoming the crisis.


Italy also experiences considerable problems. The differences between Italy's northern and southern regions are even greater than Latvia's regional differences.


Vilks admitted that, if eurozone issues are not solved, a similar alliance to the Hanseatic League must be considered. The Baltic States, the Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany and Austria could be part of it.


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