MP BLASTS 'IDIOTS AND FOOLS' IN BRUSSELS



A TOP European Union official sparked fury yesterday, claiming no contingency plans were being made for a Greek exit from the euro.

Richard Corbett, a senior adviser to EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, said: “We’re not planning for a Greek exit, nobody is planning for a Greek exit.

“That would not help Greece, it would not help the rest of the European Union and, technically by the way, it’s an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. The idea of planning a Greek exit would risk being a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

EU critic and Tory MP Douglas Carswell said that if Mr Corbett was speaking the truth we “should be genuinely worried”.

He said: “These officials should prepare a safety net for any eventuality.

“If they are not doing so in this case, then they are idiots as well as fools.”

Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King confirmed yesterday that plans were being drawn up by the Bank, the Treasury and Financial Services Authority to cope with financial meltdowns such as the break-up of the eurozone. He said the contingency plan had been under discussion “for some time”.

Another report last night claimed that millions of drachma banknotes were being printed by a British firm in preparation for Greece leaving the euro and reviving its currency.

A source said the drachmas were printed by De La Rue, the world’s largest banknote provider, and are in storage near Bolton.

It is thought that the pallets will be held in the UK for the moment rather than being sent to Greece, to avoid fuelling speculation.

The plant is on an industrial estate 30 minutes from Manchester Airport so the notes could be airlifted to Athens within a few hours.