Early Greek default now inevitable
Published 11/02/2012 | 05:00
The withdrawal of the far-right LAOS party from the Greek coalition government and the resignation of two junior ministers from the socialist PASOK party now makes it increasingly likely that Greece will default on its debts and leave the euro, possibly within days.
As the latest phase of the Greek crisis has dragged on, it has become increasingly apparent that this time it's for real. Unlike earlier phases, which frequently had an almost ritual quality to them, the shadow-boxing is over. At some stage over the next few weeks, maybe just days, matters will come to a head, Greece will default on its debts and the country will either leave or be ejected from the euro.
There are a number of reasons for this. Simple exhaustion is one. The Greek crisis has dragged on since October 2009, 28 months, with no resolution in sight. There comes a time in every long-running crisis when fatigue overcomes the participants and the urge to reach a conclusion, no matter how unsatisfactory, becomes irresistible. We're very close to this point, if indeed we haven't reached it already, in the Greek crisis.