ECONOMY

Reuters poll: 40 pct chance of a Greek eurozone exit

There is a 40 percent chance Greece will leave the eurozone, according to a Reuters poll of money market traders in which just over half said the country could stay in the bloc even if it defaults on its debt payments.

Forecasts on the likelihood of a Greek exit ranged from none to a high 75 percent in Monday’s survey of around 20 traders.

That compares to the 28 percent median in a poll of economists taken last week.

But traders were divided over the one key question that could decide the future of Greece’s eurozone membership – whether it can miss debt payments and still hold on to the euro.

Twelve said Greece can default and still remain in the currency bloc while eight said not.

Athens is struggling to pay its civil workers and needs new aid from its creditors to avoid defaulting on a May payment to the International Monetary Fund of nearly a billion euros.

“If you go bankrupt, people would still expect you to repay them in the original currency right? And you would still be working with the same currency,” a trader said.

“So why would a Greece default include leaving the eurozone?”

At the other end are traders who said Greece cannot stay in the bloc if it defaults and so assigned a higher probability of an exit.

“There will be too much push back from [other] members. They won’t want to be associated with a country that has blatantly disregarded the rules,” another trader said.

[Reuters]