France to seek deal with Greece before referendum "if possible"

France to seek deal with Greece before referendum "if possible"
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin
PHOTO: AFP

PARIS - France will still try to reach a goal with Greece before a referendum on Sunday, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Wednesday, hours before euro zone finance ministers hold their second conference call in two days to discuss Greece.

"Our aim is to find an agreement, before the referendum if possible," Michel Sapin told RTL radio.

"Our aim is to see until the last minute whether it's possible to find a deal that paves the way for a return to stability in Greece and would reassure Europe and the world," he said.

It is unclear how much the Wednesday call could achieve. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out further negotiations until after Sunday's referendum.

Sapin said it was incredibly complicated to find a deal and that smaller EU countries which had gone through painful reforms had taken the toughest approach towards Greece.

He said that a no vote in Greece would risk causing a Greek exit from the euro zone but added: "Even if the no wins, France's role would be to do everything to keep (Greece) in the euro zone".

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