White House presses for deal keeping Greece in eurozone

White House presses for deal keeping Greece in eurozone
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The White House on Monday urged Greek and European officials to reach a deal to remain in the eurozone.
 
Despite “significant differences” between both sides, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said both Greek and European leaders believe it’s within their best interests to resolve Greece’s debt crisis in a way that keeps it in the currency area. 
 
“The task before the leaders of Europe remains the same,” he told reporters. “We have long indicated that it's our view that it's in their collective interest for these differences to be resolved.”
 
President Obama and top Cabinet officials are engaged with their European counterparts, but Earnest indicated the U.S. won’t play a leading role in brokering a compromise. 
 
“Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of the Europeans to resolve it,” he said. 
 
The comments come one day after Greek voters on Sunday rejected Europe’s austerity terms for another bailout, raising the likelihood the nation could exit the eurozone.
 
The vote angered European officials, who have demanded that Greece’s government accept more financial reforms in exchange for a cash infusion. 
 
Earnest said Greece and its creditors should reach a deal to provide financing and reforms that puts it on a path to “financial sustainability” and growth. He said Obama could phone European leaders this week to discuss the situation. 
 
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday, pledging Greece would offer another proposal to revive talks with creditors at an emergency summit of eurozone leaders on Tuesday.
 
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned Monday in an effort to hasten a deal to restructure his country’s debt. Varoufakis’s emphatic opposition to austerity measures made him unpopular with officials from Germany, which is Greece’s largest creditor.
 
A Greek default, plus an exit from the eurozone, could roil the world economy. Stock around the world dipped Monday on news of the referendum but did not plummet as predicted by market watchers.
 
Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.1 percent, Germany’s DAX fell 1.5 percent, and London’s FTSE 100 index sunk just 0.8 percent. 
 
U.S. stocks encountered modest losses. After an initial plunge, the Dow Jones industrial average was down just 0.1 percent at midday. 
 
Despite “political volatility” surrounding Greece’s situation, Earnest acknowledged there has been “limited spillover” to financial markets. 
 
The spokesman reiterated there is “very little direct exposure [in] the U.S. economy” to the Greek debt crisis.