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Appel: Europe can't prepare for a euro collapse

From Richard Quest, CNN
February 2, 2012 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
  • The Deutsche Post DHL CEO says Europe can't really prepare for the collapse of the euro
  • But Frank Appel believes a fracture of the eurozone is unlikely
  • Appel says he's cautious about over-planning for scenarios such as a Greek default

(CNN) -- The boss of logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL says Europe "cannot really prepare" for the ultimate failure of its debt crisis plans: A collapse of the common currency.

Frank Appel, speaking to CNN as crucial negotiations between Greece and its creditors drag on, believes a fracture of the eurozone is unlikely.

But -- after almost two years of tapping the bloc's piggy bank and implementing harsh austerity measures across the region -- unpredictability reigns. "You have to think how you can prepare a company for the uncertain," he says.

Appel says he is cautious about over-planning for scenarios such as a Greek default. "If you think your Excel spread-sheet will tell you what will happen in the future, it will only distract you from what is really important -- to be ready to take action," he says.

"We know certain things only if they happen and then you need the right mindsets to change your behavior, to be flexible," he adds. "That has something to do with your readiness to learn and correct mistakes."

Appel runs one of the world's biggest employers, with Deutsche Post DHL now operating in 220 countries and with 470,000 staff. Despite the uncertainty Appel, one of the region's most respected CEOs, believes Europe's future remains bright.

He points to high education levels, stable democracies and innovative thinking, adding: "We don't have to be shy and think others are smarter or better than we are. We have all the power we need to grow our region as well, as long as we accept that there might be some hardship at the beginning."

And the good news for the logistics industry, Appel notes, is that "even if the euro would not be around, just for the sake of argument, somebody still has to deliver letters, somebody has to deliver parcels and somebody has to deliver or transport containers around the world."

CNN's Emily Smith contributed to this story.

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