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Greece Mulling Exit From Euro Area, Germany’s Der Spiegel Says

Greece is considering withdrawing from the euro and returning to its old currency, prompting emergency talks by European Union officials, Der Spiegel reported, without saying how it got the information.

The European Commission has called a meeting in Luxembourg today to discuss Greece’s threat and a possible debt restructuring, the German magazine reported on its website. A German government spokesman dismissed the report, saying “categorically” there are no talks about a Greek withdrawal from the euro.

Greece leaving the euro “isn’t on the table and hasn’t been on the table for the German government and isn’t a topic at the European level,” Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman, said by telephone.

The Greek Finance Ministry denied any plan to leave the euro in an e-mailed statement. A spokesman for Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister who also leads the euro-region’s finance ministers, denied the report. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has no immediate comment on the report, a spokesman said.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is taking part in the talks and wants to keep Greece from carrying out its threat, Der Spiegel said. The German Finance Ministry is warning that reintroducing Greece’s old currency would lead to a devaluation that would boost the country’s outstanding debt by as much as 50 percent, Der Spiegel said, citing an internal study prepared at the ministry.

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