Cyprus Mail

EU’s finance chief says eurozone can cope with Greek crisis

The European Union’s financial system will be able to cope with whatever becomes of Greece’s membership of the eurozone, EU financial services chief Jonathan Hill said on Tuesday.

Hill said regulations introduced in the last five years, particularly the eurozone’s banking union, have made the region’s financial system stronger, more resilient and better capitalised.

“I think people would generally think that it is much stronger and more stable and better able to cope with developments as they come,” Hill told reporters in response to a question on the Greek crisis.

He said it was clearly the case that the European Commission wanted Greece to stay in the euro zone and European Union.

Hill, the EU commissioner also responsible for financial stability, said the situation with Greece was frustrating but it was wrong to portray it as “bureaucracy versus democracy.”

The Commission has explored all possible avenues to find an outcome for Greece that could also be supported by the other 18 eurozone members which have sent billions of their taxpayers’ money to Greece, Hill said.

“I know that many on our side, including (European Commission President) Jean-Claude Juncker and many in the Eurogroup feel it was the Greeks who walked from the table,” Hill said.

“I know that President Juncker is keen for this part of the story to be told so that the Greek people understand ahead of their referendum how flexible we have been,” Hill said.

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