ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The latest news on Greece's financial woes (all times local):
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin says Europe remains committed to avoiding "catastrophe" for Greece and keeping it in the eurozone.
Sapin said on France's iTele television Thursday that "the exit of Greece from the eurozone is not desirable, nor envisaged."
Sapin had been pushing for an agreement with Greece before Sunday's referendum, but after a fruitless meeting of European finance ministers Wednesday, he conceded that there's no point negotiating until after the vote.
Sapin said that regardless of what happens Sunday, France's own economy will be able to bear the outcome, in contrast to the situation five years ago when the Greek debt crisis first exploded. "There are no immediate consequences for France. France is stronger than in 2010."
"We are committed to avoid a catastrophe for Greece and difficulties for Europe and France."
European stock markets have opened steady, a day after Greece's European creditors said they would not talk with the Greek government about its bailout request until after Sunday's referendum.
In Greece, most banks remain shuttered and will remain so at least until after the referendum on recent creditor proposals. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras confirmed Wednesday that the referendum would take place and that he would be backing the "No" campaign.
"The Greek government would appear to continuing its game of cat and mouse with its creditors," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
Soon after opening, the Stoxx 50 index of leading European shares was up 0.2 percent. The euro itself was 0.1 percent higher at $1.1066.