The Gazette

Eurozone and currency at risk: survey
The Gazette

A survey of senior executives from around the world, released Monday, shows the issue of government debt in Europe and elsewhere is weighing on the minds of world business leaders.

The poll, commissioned by RBC Capital Markets, indicated that almost half of those surveyed feel there is a 50% chance or more a country within the group using the euro as its currency will leave this arrangement within the next three years.

More than a third agreed there was at least a 25% chance of a complete breakup of the eurozone over this time. For those expecting a country to leave the eurozone, Greece was seen as most likely, followed by Portugal, Spain and Ireland. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, was seen as the fifth mostly likely to leave the eurozone, “possibly reflecting the respondents’ concern that the German government may lose confidence in the monetary union if the current crisis continues.”

Concerns about sovereign debt go beyond Europe, the poll showed. About one-third of respondents said there is a better chance than not a G20 country will default on their debt within the next three years. Italy was seen as the most likely, followed by Argentina, Turkey, Mexico and Russia. The United Kingdom was see as second most likely country in Western Europe, after Italy, to default.