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EU Commissioner, UK Money Printing Co: Playing Greece-Euro-Exit Games

What a day! Amid a barrage of warnings and threats for a Greek euro exit and UK companies making even offers to Athens to print there …Drachmas, a EU Commissioner puts the icing on top of  the euro cake. EU Trade Commissioner, Belgian Karel de Gucht claimed that the European Central Bank and the European commission are working on a plan for the case Greece gets out the euro. The news landed with the sound of an exploding bomb as it is the first time an EU official openly confirmed the existence of such a plan and preparations.

An interview with Belgian daily De Standaard, EU Trade Commissioner, Belgium’s Karel de Gucht, said,

“A year and a half ago maybe there was a risk of a domino effect. But today, there are [people] in the European Central Bank, as well as in the Commission,  working on emergency scenarios if Greece shouldn’t make it.”

He also added, “A Greek exit does not mean the end of the euro, as some claim.”

However, it looks as if De Gucht’s comments were not appreciated by his colleagues at the Commission. Within hours, European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva moved to deny the existence of any such plans, saying, “[The European Commission] is working on scenarios to keep Greece within the eurozone, not to make it leave.”

According to the spokeswoman, Commissioner de Gucht was speaking “in his personal capacity”.  (OpenEurope & others)

Eager to print Drachmas?

However before EC dismissed De Gucht’s claims, a zealous UK-based company rushed to declare, it was keen and ready to print Drachma banknotes! Without doubt, a huge job for De La Rue. And not only: upon the news of the profitable potential contract, equity investors started to buy the company’s shares…  

De La Rue (DLAR.L) has drawn up contingency plans to print drachma banknotes should Greece exit the euro and approach the British money printer, an industry source told Reuters on Friday. The source, who asked not to be named, said that as a commercial printer De La Rue needed to be alive to the possibility of a Greek exit from the single currency and prepare accordingly.

An exit from Europe’s single currency would spark a major demand for the returning drachma and while the country’s state printers could orchestrate its production, a handful of global firms like De La Rue could be called on to help.

Buffeted equity investors looking for respite from the Greek turmoil have been busy buying up De La Rue shares in anticipation, helping push them up 11 percent in the last month.

Panmure analyst Paul Jones said the firm would be in with a chance of work if extra capacity was needed and could also benefit from other work as Greek printers were less likely to be quoting for contracts elsewhere.

“If they (Greece) decide to pull out of the euro the first thing is it won’t be an overnight job, partly because of the implications of what they are trying to do but secondly because of the sheer number of banknotes that are needed to replace a currency,” Jones told Reuters.

I wonder how many Greeks rushed to the banks again on Friday and withdrew their deposits upon hearing these news…. But we learn one more thing: that some make profits on the back of Greece. And then they wonder, why the bank deposits are down and why the banks are short of liquitity.

Here  you can read what international press writes on Friday about Greece Euro Exit

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