May 28, 2015 / 1:31 PM / 3 years ago

Less than one-in-three chance of Greece leaving euro zone this year

(Reuters) - There is a one-in-three chance of Greece leaving the euro zone this year because it may be unable to secure fresh loans and could default on debt payments, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

Despite months of negotiations, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is yet to clinch a deal with international creditors who are insisting Greece stick to commitments of budget cuts and austerity.

Scheduled debt repayments are due to the International Monetary Fund next month.

A European Union flag and a Greek national flag flutter in Athens, April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Kostas Tsironis

“Unfortunately, no one seems to be ready to take the political responsibility for Greece staying in or out of the euro area,” said Karsten Junius, chief economist at Bank Sarasin.

“As a result, the economy is slipping deeper into recession and the timely repayment of internal and external payment obligations is becoming more unlikely.”

Probabilities of so-called Grexit in the poll of nearly 70 economists ranged from 5 percent to 60 percent. At 30 percent, the median consensus remained relatively constant in the past several polls.

A debt default would not mean Greece is automatically ejected from the monetary union and economists in previous Reuters polls have said Athens could renege on its payment commitments but continue to stay in the euro zone.

Reporting by Sumanta Dey; polling by Aaradhana Ramesh and Hari Kishan Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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