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Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Finance Minister: Eurozone Would Survive Greek Exit

05/11/12 04:13 AM ET AP

Wolfgang Schaeuble Eurozone
Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's finance minister, said the Eurozone could cope with a Greek exit.

BERLIN -- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is suggesting the eurozone could deal with an abrupt exit by Greece, even though he says he doesn't want that to happen.

Schaeuble was quoted by the Rheinische Post newspaper Friday saying Greece has to fulfill its financial obligations in order to stay in the 17-nation eurozone, but that Athens could not be forced.

Should Greece leave, Schaeuble says "we have learned a lot in the last two years and built in protective mechanisms."

He adds: "The risk of effects on other countries in the eurozone have been reduced and the eurozone as a whole has become more resistant."

Greece is currently trying to form a new government and risks losing its rescue loan lifeline if it does not pass further austerity measures and reforms.

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Filed by Jillian Berman  |