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Grexit won't spark exodus: Spanish Defense Minister

Reported by Sri Jegarajah, written by Michelle Loh
Spain defense minister: Airbus crash is isolated case

A Greek exit would not lead to a mass exodus of nations from the European Union, but it would cast a shadow over the economic zone's future, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés has told CNBC's Sri Jegarajah.

"Life outside the European Union is colder than the European Union," Morenés said.

He has called on Greece to make "any effort necessary" to remain within the European Union, noting that other countries with heavy debt loads have all benefited from EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposed austerity measures.

"My view is that Greece has to make any effort to continue in the European Union," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the weekend's Shangri-La Dialogue. "The efforts that we are demanding Greece to do, we have done, and the Portuguese have done, and the Irish have done as well, is something good for Greece first of all, and good for the whole European Union."

With 1.2 billion euros of IMF payments due within the next few weeks, Greece needs an additional 7.2 billion euros in bailout money. However, negotiations with European leaders have stalled with both sides accusing each other of intransigence.

Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenes
Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has accused EU leaders of making "absurd" demands and displaying a "total indifference" to the Greek people's democratic choice.

Athens missed its self-imposed deadline for reaching an aid deal by Sunday and it risks running out of money within weeks.

Failed states spurring Europe's refugee crisis?

On the subject of Europe's migrant crisis, Minister Morenés said that the humanitarian disaster in the Mediterranean earlier this year was unacceptable and called on European governments to take "any measure necessary" to prevent future incidents.

Europe faces a growing migrant crisis, with thousands of people, mainly from northern Africa or the conflict-ridden Middle East, attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach European shores in hopes of a better life. Italy and Greece tend to bear the burden of rescuing and sheltering rescued migrants, but both countries are already struggling economically and have asked for more help from their European counterparts.

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The desperate situation has been thrown into stark relief this year, with several high-profile migrant disasters. A number of boats, crowded with migrants, have capsized and some 1,750 migrants have died in 2015 alone, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Comparing the refugee crisis to Spain's successful campaign against piracy in Somalia, Morenés said that Spain would be looking to destroy the boats used by human traffickers, and called for European leaders to share information about the refugees, as well as create a plan for what to do with them after they had been rescued.

However, the Minister also noted that the migration crisis could not be solved without first resolving the issue of failed states like Libya.

"A failed state is always the same," he said. "It is a free area for all types of criminal activities. Trafficking of human beings, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and terrorism. These four things, these four activities are closely, closely united."

Investigating the Airbus A400M

Morenés also expressed his support for Airbus said that Spain would not be seeking compensation from the company after initial reports indicate that poorly installed software was behind an Airbus A400M crash that killed four people in Seville last month.

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"It is very important for all of us that we know what exactly has happened, because it's cost the lives of four Spanish people working for that company there," he said. "We strongly believe and support the company and the product, but it is absolutely necessary to know exactly what has happened."

Morenés said that while he hoped the incident was an isolated one, it would be up to the courts to decide on the company's liabilities.

The A400M has clocked up some 7,000 flight hours and Airbus has already delivered 22 aircraft to its clients, with an additional one due to be sent to Turkey later this year.

While France continues to fly the aircraft, Britain and Germany have decided to ground all A400Ms until investigations are complete.

--Holly Ellyatt contributed to this article

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