i on europe


Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

Analysis: Europe has few options over Greek vote


BRUSSELS — Eurozone leaders have insisted for months that there is no Plan B — the currency bloc simply will not break up. But now that their grand strategy to save the 17-nation currency, hatched just a week ago, is in jeopardy, they had better start working on one.

The trouble is their options are limited. If Greek voters reject the deal negotiated last week in Brussels, Greece could have to leave the euro, whether or not its European partners are ready for the devastating consequences of that.

In the short term, the mere existence of the referendum on the horizon will keep uncertainty high in the markets. The eurozone will rely on the European Central Bank to buy the government bonds of financially weak countries like Italy and Spain to keep them out of speculators’ crosshairs. Italy’s bond yields are getting uncomfortably close to the levels that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to need bailouts.



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