Greek Euro Exit Rattles Markets

Currency hits three-month low as central bankers discuss possibility of Greek departure.

Greece’s possible exit from the euro area moved to the center of Europe’s financial-crisis debate, rattling markets as authorities in Athens struggled to form a government.

Meetings brokered by Greek President Karolos Papoulias were set to continue today after Syriza, the leading anti-bailout party, rejected a unity government following inconclusive elections May 6. That moved the country closer to a new vote, with at least five European central bankers broaching the once-taboo topic of its exit from the euro.

No Movement

“I’m not aware of any discussions within the commission to grant new provisions, new concessions in the program” for Greece, Altafaj said by phone yesterday.

Merkel Setback

The latest defeat was suffered by Merkel yesterday in Germany’s largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, where her Christian Democratic Union suffered its worst defeat there since World War II. The German Social Democrats, the main opposition party nationally, tightened their grip among German regional governments.

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