[Ed. – Hard to read the tea-leaves on this one, but it has the potential to create a major ripple effect.]
Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble believe the euro zone has implemented enough reforms since the height of the regional crisis in 2012 to make a potential Greece exit manageable, Der Spiegel reported.
“The danger of contagion is limited because Portugal and Ireland are considered rehabilitated,” the weekly news magazine quoted one government source saying. .,..
It is still unclear how a euro zone member country could leave the euro and still remain in the European Union, but Der Spiegel quoted a “high-ranking currency expert” as saying that “resourceful lawyers” would be able to clarify. [Translation: they don’t know how to do it. – Ed.]
According to the report, the German government considers a Greece exit almost unavoidable if the leftwing Syriza opposition party led by Alexis Tsipras wins an election set for Jan. 25.
The Greek election was called after lawmakers failed to elect a president last month. It pits Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ conservative New Democracy party, which imposed unpopular budget cuts under Greece’s bailout deal, against Tsipras’ Syriza, who want to cancel austerity measures and a chunk of Greek debt.