Greece edging close to exit?

Flags at the European parliament.<p>Flags at the European parliament.</p>

The latest instalment in the Greek saga is likely to have a bearing on European markets today, as the Greek Government’s game of chess with the country’s creditors was ramped up another notch yesterday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reiterated his stance that the country would refuse an extension to the bailout agreement with the troika. With Athens’ current round of funding set to run out at the end of February, fears are likely to grow about the viability of the country’s banking system, with the Government likely to be forced to introduce capital controls should the already high rate of capital flight accelerate over the coming days.

Greek 10 year bond yields are already trading at 10.11%, a figure that has effectively frozen Athens out of credit markets. Tsipras’ speech was no doubt laying the groundwork for the country’s negotiating position ahead of this week’s EU summit in Brussels between Finance Ministers in the euro zone, also known as the Eurogroup.

In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan stated he saw a Greek exit as “inevitable.” Mr Greenspan also questioned the long term viability of the monetary union, saying that in order for the single currency to fully work, there needed to be full political integration.

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