GREECE: LAST CHANCE SALOON

It has been two arduous months since the Syriza party won the Greek elections on a platform to renegotiate the country’s debt and terminate austerity measures imposed by the IMF/ECB/European Commission Troika. The negotiations between Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis and his eurozone counterparts have generated much noise but seemingly achieved little.

A more constructive view is that the range of likely outcomes, which I highlighted in Fifty Shades of Greece, has narrowed – and markets tend to favour certainty to unpredictability. Prime Minister Tsipras’ government has so far proven wrong the pessimists predicting the country’s imminent exit from the eurozone. The eurozone’s main protagonists understand, in private at least, that a Greek default and/or exit from the eurozone would seriously dent the European project at a time when Russia is trying to expand its influence westward. It would also likely mean large losses for eurozone creditors, including the European Central Bank (ECB), and national governments and banks.

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