UK's Cameron, top aides 'contingency plan' for Greek exit

UK's Cameron, top aides 'contingency plan' for Greek exit
Above: British Prime Minister David Cameron

LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron met Monday with senior economic officials to discuss a possible Greek exit from the eurozone as part of contingency planning over the country's debt crisis.

Senior officials including from the Foreign Office and the Bank of England held an hour-long meeting as markets dived following Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's pledge not to extend a bailout programme.

"There remain risks around contagion and uncertainties," Cameron's official spokesman said.

Asked if a Greek exit was discussed, he said: "You need to look at the risks of pressures on financial markets as potential uncertainty grows.

"In that context you need to look across the full range of issues," he said.

"The government had undertaken an extensive degree of contingency planning during 2012 when there were particular pressures in the eurozone involving Greece.

"Given the fact that we have a new Greek government, now is the right time to be going over again those... plans," he added.

Most of Greece's debt is held by eurozone institutions, but since London plays a key role in Europe's finance sector and the European Union is Britain's main export market, the crisis in the eurozone could heavily affect the country's economy.

Tsipras said Sunday he would be "unshakeable" in implementing anti-austerity electoral promises and refused to apply for an extension to the much-loathed 240 billion euro (US$270 billion) bailout.

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