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[PARIS] French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday the European Central Bank's decision to cut off Greek banks' access to a key source of much-needed cash was "legitimate".
Speaking at at one of his biannual press conferences, he said the ECB move put the responsibility to reduce debt squarely on the shoulders of "states and governments... And it's perfectly legitimate."
Mr Hollande's comments came a day after he met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Paris.
The ECB said it would no longer accept Greek government bonds - which have a junk rating - as collateral for loans to the country's banks.
The move sent European stocks sliding in early trade on Thursday and was widely viewed as a warning to Greece to reach a rapid agreement on renegotiating its 240-billion-euro (US$270 billion) EU-IMF bailout, or face further consequences.