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Brexit, elections and Greek deja vu: the week ahead

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 01:38

It's a week of deja vu with the euro zone fretting that a crisis in Greece will balloon if finance ministers don't make key funding decisions. The difference this time is that other countries in Europe and beyond are also a cause for concern, as Ivor Bennett reports.

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There are some differences to the latest Greek crisis. The bailout for one thing is already in place. But when euro zone finance ministers meet on Monday, there will be a strong sense of deja vu. Especially if no agreement is reached. SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY COOK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, SAYING: "It must focus on some form of debt forgiveness otherwise the Greek economy is likely to continue to pitch down this cliff and therefore the political drive to take Greece out of the euro zone will only increase. This will be another Greek summer unfortunately for everyone concerned." And not just Greek, but Dutch, French and German too. Europe's key elections moving to the top of markets' agenda. SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY COOK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, SAYING: "I think they have to be and I think the market is actually mispricing two of them at the moment. They're overpricing the risk of the French and underpricing the risk of the Dutch one." Polls suggest far right leader Geert Wilders is the frontrunner in next month's Dutch vote. Although most parties have alraedy ruled out a coalition with his eurosceptic PVV party The alternative could prove equally challenging for the EU. SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY COOK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, SAYING: "Now they've had four and five party coaltiions in the past. And they simply haven't worked. they've fallen apart pretty quickly. And obviously in a rather disparate, and fractious time for the European Union, this could really actually hurt the European Union heading into the Brexit negotiations." Which are also getting nearer The legislation for Britain to start its divorce from the EU will go to parliament's upper house this week. Its passage likely to be watched very closely.

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Brexit, elections and Greek deja vu: the week ahead

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 01:38