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CFOs expect Greece to leave eurozone

Delegates at the Economist CFO Summit expect Greece to leave eurozone despite prospects of €130bn bailout package

24 Feb 2012

By Richard Crump

Greek flag

FINANCE directors expect Greece to get booted out of the eurozone despite Europe's finance ministers approving a further €130bn (£110bn) bailout package for the country.

Greece's cabinet on Friday approved a €100bn debt write-down as part the eurozone rescue plan. However, a straw poll of delegates at the Economist CFO Summit the previous day revealed that finance directors are almost unanimous in their expectation that Greece is on the way out of the euro. Around two thirds of the room expected that another country will follow Greece out the door some point in the future.

However, a Greek exit from the euro should not precipitate an exodus of business from the country. Luca Zaramella, senior vice-president, finance, at Kraft Foods Europe, told delegates that he looks at Greece's net monetary position every day but that it shouldn't impact long-term strategy.

Businesses should not exit countries "from one day to the other" he said, citing the 1997-99 monetary crisis in Argentina as a reason why FDs should take the long view. "The position in Argentina is very good. It is clear in consumption is going up."

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