Less than one-in-three chance of Greece leaving eurozone this year

There is a one-in-three chance of Greece leaving the eurozone this year because it may be unable to secure fresh loans and could default on debt payments, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

Despite months of negotiations, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is yet to clinch a deal with international creditors who are insisting Greece stick to commitments of budget cuts and austerity.

Scheduled debt repayments are due to the International Monetary Fund next month.

“Unfortunately, no one seems to be ready to take the political responsibility for Greece staying in or out of the euro area,” said Karsten Junius, chief economist at Bank Sarasin.

“As a result, the economy is slipping deeper into recession and the timely repayment of internal and external payment obligations is becoming more unlikely.”

Probabilities of so-called Grexit in the poll of nearly 70 economists ranged from 5 percent to 60 percent. At 30 percent, the median consensus remained relatively constant in the past several polls.

A debt default would not mean Greece is automatically ejected from the monetary union and economists in previous Reuters polls have said Athens could renege on its payment commitments but continue to stay in the euro zone.


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