Financing provided by ECB to Greek banks 'cannot be lowered': France

6th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

France's finance minister warned the European Central Bank against lowering its level of emergency financing to Greek banks and said it was up to Athens to make new proposals on its debt crisis.

The amount of funding provided by the ECB through its Emergency Liquidity Assistance "cannot be lowered," Michel Sapin said ahead of a meeting by the bank to make a decision on the lifeline which could determine if Greece's economy stays afloat.

In the first reaction from Europe's second economy after Greek voters rejected bailout proposals made by international creditors in a referendum, Sapin said the ball was now in Athens's court.

It is "up to the Greek government to make proposals. The vote itself solves nothing," said Sapin.

He said communication channels with Greece were "very limited" and mainly passed through France, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and his Eurogroup counterpart Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

He said no solution could be found until German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds talks with French President Francois Hollande at a dinner meeting in Paris Monday night.

"Europe is facing a difficult moment but it is not in difficulty itself," said Sapin.

"Europe will show it is strong by protecting itself."

Meanwhile French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said "no one among the leaders involved has expressed the wish to kick Greece out" of the eurozone.

"So we must get back into a situation where we must talk."

© 2015 AFP

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