Pro-drachma party Plan B launches in Greece

Greek drachma Plan B wants to see a return of the old Greek currency, the drachma

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Greece has seen the launch of a new political party, Plan B, which supports leaving the euro and returning to the drachma.

Its leader, Alekos Alavanos, told the conference in Athens that he opposed the austerity measures imposed on the country.

He argued that Greece could not emerge from recession as long as it was locked into a common currency.

But opinion polls suggest most Greeks favour retaining the euro.

The prospect of Greece's departure from the euro has hung over the country since its financial crisis erupted in 2009.

Greeks were told a "Grexit" was a nightmare scenario that would bring even worse upheaval to the country.

Mr Alavanos, a former leader of the main left-wing opposition Syriza, argues that leaving the single currency would be a "little shock" but, through devaluing the drachma, it would soon yield positive results and set an example to other eurozone countries.

Ceramic artist Yannis Stavridis, who was at Saturday's conference, explained why he had decided to join Plan B.

"I believe that an exit from the euro will give our country the possibility to develop an independent economic policy in favour of the people," he told Reuters news agency.

"Because the euro is a tight corset that prevents Greece from developing."

So far the new party is tiny, with only about 400 members.

Greece's pro-austerity government insists there is no turning back from the reforms, and insists talk of Greece leaving the euro is now a thing of the past.

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