French President Francois Hollande revealed that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wanted to print Drachmas in Russia. In a book “Presidents should not talk about such things” Hollande speaks about a conservation he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin in summer of 2015, the peak of the Greek crisis before the government surrendered to the European lenders.
Hollande received a phone call by Putin who said:
“I want to give you this information. Greece asked us to print Drachmas because they have no longer a printer for this. I want to tell you that this is something [ apparently the Grexit] that we do not want.”
The book author note that this Greek request was a proof that Greece was thinking to exit the eurozone.
Hollande wondered why Putin passed him over such an information. “Probably he [Putin] didn’t want to be considered responsible for the Grexit and to say also that a Grexit was a danger that had to be avoided.”
According to the book, both Germany and the International Monetary Fund wanted Greece out of the eurozone.
Below a phone conversation between French Finance Minister Michel Sapin and President Hollande, referring to Germany wanting to have Greece out of the eurozone:
Sapin: “Germans are sticking to the argument that the Greek debt is not sustainable.”
Hollande: “They are able to do so. there is a statement by Merkel saying debt relief is out of discussion.”
A little later in the book
Hollande: “Lagarde is in favor of Grexit. She told me so with arguments that have some basis: she believes that with such debt Greece cannot be rescued and it is better off the eurozone. Lagarde is polite but she is under pressure by the US administration and the IMF.”
Authors of the book are two Le Monde journalists Davet and Llomme and is based on Hollande’s confessions to them.
Speaking to Greek media, government sources confirmed that there were contacts with President Putin but that “at no time the Greek PM discussed such an issue.”
Also Kremlin dismissed Hollande’s claims on Friday morning. More here.
PS No printer for Drachmas? My cat has a tiny kitty-printer, however it is programmed to print Euros. This cat claimed, she can also do world politics based on hear-saying and kitty-talk.